An Ypsilanti neighborhood was locked down for much of Thursday after a suicidal man barricaded himself inside his home and held police at bay. Thanks to the actions of a negotiator, the entire ordeal ended peacefully.
The gunman kept police at bay inside his Ypsilanti Township for hours. It started around 7:30 Thursday morning with a family member and children inside the house with him.
"When deputies responded, the found family members still in the house and the suicidal subject actually had a gun. We were able to talk the family members out of the home but the subject stayed in the house," Derrick Jackson, Washtenaw County Sheriff Director Community Involvement, said. "There was no need for us to rush in there and do anything. It was really just a step back and talk to him. But we had to make sure the neighbors knew what was going on and stay out of harms way."
Police didn't take any chances: they set up a command center two blocks away and locked down nearby schools as a precaution. Meanwhile, the man inside asked to speak to one person: the Chief of Huron Township Police, Everette Robbins.
"I didn't hestitate for one minute. I went out there and am really glad that it came to the resolution that it did. I'm glad he able to ask for help when he did," Robbins spent 20 years as a deputy in Washtenaw County. He said that allowed him to get to know the people he was assigned to protect, including the armed suicidal man. "It was really a trust thing and that was really the thing I stressed to him was that I never lied to him before, I wasn't going to start now."
He says for situations like this, a relationship can help diffuse a hostile situation and possibly save a life.
Investigators say the situation ended with a trip to the hospital so the person responsible can get the mental treatment they need. no charges are expected in this case.