Public Information Release: Officers Deploy Less Lethal Shotgun on Suicidal Woman
Grand Rapids, MI (May 25, 2018, 9:00 a.m.)
Grand Rapids Police Department patrol officers shot several less lethal shotgun rounds striking a suicidal woman armed with a knife.
Last night just after 6:00 p.m., Grand Rapids Police Officers were called to the area of Jefferson Av SE and Cherry St SE on a report of a woman stabbing herself in an apparent act of suicide. Officers responded in emergency mode and located the 45 year old woman near the intersection armed with a knife. She was holding the knife to her throat asking officers to shoot her. The victim made several suicidal cuts to her body while officers were attempting to verbally calm her down.
After several minutes of trying to talk with the woman, and no response from the her to accept the help of the officers, the decision was made to fire several bean bag rounds at the victim. The goal was to get her to drop the knife so that officers could safely approach her. The rounds were successful, striking her in the legs, and officers were able to take her into custody to prevent additional self harm.
The woman suffered superficial injuries from her cuts and bruising on her thighs from the impact of the bean bag rounds. She was taken to a nearby hospital for medical clearance and a mental evaluation.
We are proud of the courageous acts of these officers from last night since their quick thinking and trained skills likely saved this woman's life. Every patrol supervisor is equipped with and certified in the use of a less-lethal shotgun to be able to respond to incidents of this nature. It is a tool that gives patrol an additional option for taking a potentially dangerous or armed individual into custody without risking the safety of the officers.
If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or depression, or you know someone that could use some help, options are available by calling 1 - 800 - 273 - TALK (8255). There are also numerous local resource options which can be found by calling 211 or contacting Network 180.