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Suicidal man leads to standoff

Union Leader Correspondent

December 10. 2014 7:52PM
This apartment complex was the scene of a police standoff Wednesday morning on Walnut Street in Somersworth. Andrea Bulfinch 

SOMERSWORTH - A suicidal man in a Walnut Street apartment Wednesday morning, who allegedly said he was armed, prompted a heavy response from police and the evacuation of surrounding residences, police said.Capt. Russell Timmons said the man called an ex-girlfriend early Wednesday and claimed he was going to kill himself. He allegedly told the woman he had a shotgun. The woman called police.

As a precaution, the nearby John Powers School on Main Street was evacuated, as were residents of an apartment building where the man was said to be located.The incident happened a little before 8 a.m., prompting a short standoff.

The scene was clear by 8:30 a.m. It is unclear whether the man was a resident of the apartment building.

Timmons said detectives were able to engage the man in conversation and he ultimately walked out of the building. He was handcuffed and taken by police for further evaluation.Customers at Hardee's Market on Main Street, who did not wish to be named, said the scene "was not pretty."

"Some woman came running down the street saying, 'He's got a gun, he's got a gun!'” one customer said.Although earlier reports indicated a drug raid was involved, Timmons said that was not the case.

"There are that part of our population that get get wonderfully hysterical around the holidays," he said. "And it's either from pure joy or from pure misery."He noted that, nationally, there usually is a spike in suicides and attempted suicides during the holiday season, though locally he was not sure of actual statistics.

There were no injuries reported as a result of this incident.

Crime Public Safety Somersworth

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