By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
WYANDOTTE – A standoff with a suicidal gunman in a neighborhood business that could have ended tragically came to a peaceful conclusion when the businessman convinced the man to surrender to police.
Following a heated argument with his wife in their backyard in the 2000 block of 21st Street Aug. 8, a 51-year-old Wyandotte man showed his wife he had a pistol and threatened to kill himself. She said he then put the gun barrel in his mouth, then removed it and fired a single random shot to prove the gun was loaded.
Then man then fled to a nearby business, Walkers Auto Service, 2121 Ford Ave., where officers formed a perimeter while a dispatch employee established a phone connection with business owner James Walker, who was inside the shop with the suicidal gunman.
Walker was able to talk to the distressed man, and convinced him to give him the pistol, and to let him leave the building by the back door. As Walker left the building, he hid the pistol in a cardboard box.
Shortly afterward, the man was taken into custody by officers, after which Walker showed them where he had hid the pistol, in a back storage area of the shop removed from the main office. Officers took the weapon with them.
Officers at the man’s house were able to find and remove his other firearms – hunting rifles – from the house for safekeeping.
(Sue Suchyta can be reached at [email protected].)