Law enforcement from Safford, Thatcher and the Sheriff’s office responded to an emergency call of a domestic situation involving a firearm on Saturday, June 27, 2020. The call came in at approximately 3:00 A.M. While en route, officers were advised that a male could be heard screaming during the 911 call before the call was disconnected. Dispatch operators were unable to make contact again.
Responding officers gathered across the street from the residence, which is located in the area of 5th Avenue and 2nd Street in Safford. The front door of the home was open and responding officers could see a man and a woman in the front room of the house. The male was apparently holding a pistol to his head and threatening suicide. The woman could be heard shouting at the man to put the gun down.
Authorities shouted at the man and announced their presence outside the residence. They asked the man to let the woman leave the residence. He complied and the woman came out of the house and met with the officers across the street. The woman said that she and the man were the only ones in the house. She told authorities that the man had been using meth and was upset with her because he believed she was cheating on him. He came over to the woman’s residence and started banging on the door. When she let him in, she discovered that he had a gun, and the man began threatening to kill himself. The woman pleaded with him to put the gun down to no avail. He became more agitated when she called the police.
The man came out to the front of the residence as police tried to talk to him and convince him to put the gun down. The man was kneeling in the front yard while talking to one of the officers. He then stood and walked out into the intersection of the street. According to the police report the man experienced mood swings while talking to police. At times he would speak calmly then shout and swear. He was observed talking to himself and told police that he was talking to the voices in his head.
At one point the man knelt down in the street and an officer deployed a 400 mm less lethal round, which struck the man in the abdomen. The round was ineffective and appeared to agitate the man. He stood and shouted at the officers on the scene.
Finally, the man put down his weapon and walked away from it. An officer took him into custody while other officers secured the weapon. The man was transported to Mount Graham Regional Medical Center for a mental health evaluation. He was eventually transported to a mental health facility outside the area.