WPD officers stop possible suicide

Whiteville Emergency Management Director Hal Lowder speaks with officers Wednesday after a potential suicide was stoped at Walmart. (Ben Proctor)
Whiteville Emergency Management Director Hal Lowder speaks with officers Wednesday after a potential suicide was stoped at Walmart. (Ben Proctor)

Whiteville Police managed to prevent a suicide Wednesday at the Walmart parking lot.

Major William Hinz said Officer Michael Strickland was dispatched to assist EMS on a call about a man lying in the parking lot at the shopping center. 

The man was inside his vehicle, with the door locked and a handgun was near his right hand, Hinz said.

PArt of the parking lot at Columbus corners Shopping Center was set down while officers negotiated with the distraught man. (Ben Proctor Photo)

“When the officer saw the subject moving,” Hinz said, “he immediately backed the EMS up away from the scene and began trying to talk to the man.”

The individual appeared to place the gun against his chest and seemed to be mouthing a prayer, Hinz said. Strickland moved around the vehicle, and continued talking to the man, who ignored the officer until Strickland knocked on the side of the car and got his attention.

“Michael got him to talking and talked him out of the gun,” Hinz said. “Then Sergeant (Joseph) Ward got him to unlock the doors, and Strickland took control of the firearm.

“The victim was distraught,” Hinz said. “He was in a bad place. It’s easy to be that way during the holidays.”

The victim was taken to an area hospital to be checked out.

Hinz praised Strickland and Ward for their quick work.

“Michael is a talker,” Hinz said. “He can draw anybody out if he can have a conversation with them. Our guys did a really good job. It could have ended much worse.”

  • James Christian Brooks (age 47)
    Obituaries

    James Christian Brooks

    James Christian Brooks, age 47, of Lake Waccamaw passed away after a long battle with cancer on Sunday, November 28, 2021 [Read More]
  • Steve Warren Evers
    Obituaries

    Steve Warren Evers

    Steve Warren Evers, age 67, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, November 24, 2021 [Read More]
  • Crime

    Raids send 16 to jail on drug charges

    Deputies executed multiple search warrants in Bolton and elsewhere Friday, arresting 16 people on drug charges as part of Operation Giving Thanks. The arrests came after an extended investigation by Vice-Narcotics officers, Sheriff Jody Greene [Read More]
  • Business

    Burn ban in place for Columbus

    County and state officials have issued an outdoor burning ban for the area. Fire Marshal Shannon Blackman said conditions are dangerously conducive to wildfires. All open burning of leaves, debris, and other materials is prohibited [Read More]
About Jefferson Weaver 790 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the managing editor of columbuscountynews.com and news director for WTXY radio. He can be reached at 910.632.4965, or by email at jeffersonweaver@columbuscountynews.com.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply