Yesterday’s issue of the Plain Dealer had this tragic news item.
Deputy kills man holding gun to head
Authorities are investigating after a Wayne County Sheriff ‘s deputy shot and killed a man during a confrontation Sunday morning in the downtown area of Apple Creek. Deputies responded about 10:50 a.m. Sunday after receiving a call for assistance from the Apple Creek Police Department, the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office said in a post on Facebook. Deputies learned that a man armed with a handgun was behind a downtown business and threatening to shoot himself, the sheriff’s office said. Over the course of 34 minutes, law enforcement tried to de-escalate the situation. The man continued to hold a gun to his head and told authorities they were going to have to ”shoot him.” The man approached a deputy who told him multiple times to stop and drop the gun, the sheriff’s office said. The deputy fired one round from his rifle, hitting the man.
The man was holding a gun to his own head and threatening to shoot himself so the police shot him? I understand that a man advancing towards you with a gun is dangerous even if he is pointing it at his own head, since he could suddenly point it at you. But is shooting to kill the only option in such a situation?
This illustrates how the police in the US are poorly trained when it comes to dealing with deeply troubled people, treating them as if they are indistinguishable from violent and dangerous criminals.