Former officer in custody after threatening suicide, barricading self in car at DeLand hospital, deputies say

A former police officer is in custody after he threatened to take his life and barricaded himself in his vehicle outside of a DeLand hospital for hours on Tuesday, deputies said.

It all started at City Hall around 8 a.m. City officials said that the man made threatening comments to harm himself and others if law enforcement tried to stop him. The building was placed on lockdown temporarily but was lifted after the man left the area.

Officers then reportedly followed him to a hospital in DeLand, where he barricaded himself in his car for hours. He was armed inside his vehicle. Just after 11:30 a.m., Sheriff Mike Chitwood and a deputy made contact with the subject. 

By 12:29 p.m., the man was in custody, the Volusia County Sheriff's Office confirmed.

FOX 35 reporter Holly Bristow was at the scene and said that the man was taken peacefully.

During a news conference with the Volusia County Sheriff and DeLand Police Chief, they revealed that the man is a former police officer who has served the United States for 21 years. He suffers from PTSD and wanted to end his life.

The man reportedly requested to speak with Sheriff Chitwood, Deputy Clausen, and Sergeant Wingard. If the three of them would come up to his window, he promised to surrender. So, they did and listened to him.

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However, Sheriff Chitwood said at one point, the man opened the door and went to shoot himself. Thankfully, Clausen was able to grab the gun and Wingard took him out of the vehicle. He was taken to a hospital, where he thanked the three of them for their help.

He did not threaten to hurt anyone besides himself, Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said. The man was baker acted and does not face charges.

Sheriff Chitwood added that the situation "makes me feel good in a way. In a way, ya feel good. In a way, ya feel horrible. In a way it makes me feel horrible is that someone gave 21 years of their life to defend this country and yet, we can’t give these folks the proper treatment when they come home. It’s like they’re discarded.”

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