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Cops and Courts

Suicidal man leads to brief standoff in Vermilion (UPDATED)

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VERMILION — County SWAT officers were called to a home in Vermilion on Thursday night for a man threatening suicide.

Police were called to a Highbridge Road home at 9:15 p.m. by a man requesting officers check on his father, who was suicidal and known to have a gun in the home.

The 44-year-old man had texted his sister, indicating he was going to kill himself. Officers arrived within three minutes and were trying to make contact with him when police heard seven gunshots from inside. Believing that one shot may have been aimed at them, the officers took cover and called in the Lorain County SWAT team.

The man finally came out of the home at 10:47 p.m., carrying a mobile phone in his hand. He was taken to Mercy Regional Medical Center for an evaluation.

Police found handguns in the man’s bedroom and several bullet holes in the ceiling, as well as spent bullet casings. A shotgun was found in the closet and a handgun was found in a vehicle parked in the driveway.

The man told police he did not realize officers were surrounding the home until his son called and told him to go outside. He told police he had discharged an entire magazine into the ceiling to keep from shooting himself.

The officers believe the shot they initially thought may have been aimed at officers instead went through the ceiling, possibly hitting the home’s chimney. Several empty bottles of vodka were also found, and police took into custody a large amount of cash and weapons, including 15 medieval-style swords and knives, for safekeeping.

The man will be charged with discharging a weapon within city limits and having a weapon while intoxicated. Both are misdemeanors. Additional charges may be pending, police said.

Contact Rini Jeffers at rinijeffers@gmail.com.
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