I know - Monday morning quarterbacking is easy to do with the cops, and I'm sure they hate it when this kind of thing happens - they all want to be the heroes who save the day- but if we don't rethink how some of these scenarios could otherwise unfold, how will they ever change?
If you need help getting through a crisis, and can't get it from a friend - or just need to bounce things off an objective third party - call these folks, not the police:
National Suicide Hotline:
by Shala Marks and Kiali Wong - Apr. 18, 2011 12:02 PM
The Arizona Republic-12 News Breaking News Team
A man is dead after threatening to jump off the Interstate 10 overpass at 43rd Avenue early Monday in Phoenix, forcing the closure of eastbound I-10 at 51st Avenue.
The closure created a massive backup on Interstate 10. On-ramps to eastbound I-10 were closed at 83rd, 75th, 67th, 59th, 51st and 43rd avenues. Traffic was backed up to at least 75th Avenue, a more than 4-mile backup, causing commute times of more than two hours for many drivers.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety recommends McDowell and Buckeye roads as alternate routes. Traffic appears to be heavy on these and other surface streets near the interstate.
The freeway was expected to closed "a couple more hours," said Sgt. Steve Martos, spokesman for the Phoenix Police Department, at about 11 a.m.
The 40-year-old man was first spotted by a person driving on Interstate 10 at about 4:30 a.m. Monday, said Sgt. Steve Martos, spokesman for the Phoenix Police Department. The driver called Phoenix police after seeing the man apparently standing outside of the railing on the 43rd Avenue overpass.
Police arrived, and the man told them to back away, Martos said. The man, who had an article of clothing wrapped around his right hand, also told officers he had a gun.
Officers tried to negotiate, Martos said. The man told officers about his family and how to contact them.
A semitruck was parked underneath the man in case he jumped, Martos said.
At about 5:30 a.m., the man stood up and started to approach police, Martos said. He pointed his right hand and five officers, fearing for their safety, opened fire with beanbag rounds and rifle rounds. A handgun also was used, Martos said.
Officers are unclear if the man jumped or if he was shot and fell off the overpass. Police didn't immediately know if any of the rounds hit the man.
The man fell just north of the semitruck because he had moved from his original position on the overpass, Martos said.
It is unknown if the man had a weapon, Martos said.
After firefighters determined the man was dead, authorities backed away, Martos said. A Phoenix police crime unit is processing the scene, and a helicopter is taking pictures.
A medical examiner also has been called in, Martos said.