Multiple Deputies Work Together to Disarm Suicidal Male
Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Deputies worked together to deescalate and disarm a suicidal male, armed with a knife, who told Deputies he wanted to be shot. Deputies had time to deploy less lethal options to take the male into protective custody.
On July 6, 2018, at approximately 7:00 a.m., Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the call of an adult male threatening to kill himself. The male ran from the house located in North Spokane County and was standing in the middle of the road, yelling for passing cars to hit him.
A couple minutes later, the male ran back into the house, grabbed a large knife and went back outside. He started running/walking down the street when Deputy Terry Liljenberg arrived. Deputy Liljenberg told the male to drop the knife but the male refused by saying he wanted to die and to leave him alone. Deputy Liljenberg continued to tell the male to drop the knife but he refused as he pointed it toward his wrist.
The male walked over to a person in a vehicle he knew and handed them the knife before walking back toward the house at a rapid pace. Deputy Liljenberg and Deputy David Trautman who arrived to assist, kept their distance not knowing if the male possessed another weapon as they continually tried to get him to stop and talk to them.
The male walked back to the house and as he went inside, he again stated he wanted to kill himself. The male came back outside holding a multitool with the knife blade extended. He stood on the porch and refused to put the knife down as he held it to his wrist. He spoke with the Deputies, telling them he took a large amount of a prescription medication as Deputy Jim Reed and Deputy Sam Palmer arrived to assist.
Deputy Reed deployed a shotgun with less lethal rounds while Deputy Palmer attempted to call inside the residence to contact anyone inside and have them lock the front door. The male continued to say he wanted to die and at one point he asked if he rushed the Deputies if they would shoot him. Moments later, a female opened the front door with the male right outside. Fearing she could be hurt, Deputies immediately told her to close the door and she complied.
When the male moved to a different part of the porch clearing the path of obstacles, Deputy Trautman deployed his Taser. At first the Taser seemed to have little effect as the male continued to walk but after a couple steps, he fell to his knees still clutching the knife. He suddenly threw the knife and fell forward to the ground. The Deputies moved in, placed the male in handcuffs for his and the Deputies safety and secured the knife.
No other weapons were found in the male’s possession. While waiting for medics to arrive, the male who had been placed in the backseat of a patrol car began banging his head on the partition shield of the car. He was removed for his safety and later transported by ambulance to a hospital to receive the help and assistance he desperately needed.
Please, if you’re feeling lost, hopeless or thinking about suicide, take a minute to contact one of the many people who want to help you. Call one of the numbers below or just walk into any emergency room, contact a Fireman, a Deputy, an Officer, your church, a family member or friend and simply say, “I need your help.”
509-838-4428 First Call for Help
1-800-273-8255 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-8255, press 1 VA Suicide Hotline
Deputy Mark Gregory
Spokane County Sheriff’s Office
Spokane Valley Police Department
Public Information Officer