By DEUCE NIVEN
Rapid response to Columbus Regional Healthcare by Whiteville Police Department officers ended with an armed woman threatening suicide safely admitted for mental health care, department spokesman Maj. Alan May said Tuesday.
A lockdown ordered at the hospital as the situation unfolded “was lifted once the female was placed into custody,” May said in a news release.
Sgt. Jose Garcia and Officer Mark Corder were dispatched to the hospital shortly before noon Tuesday, Corder arriving first and finding a young woman “in the driver’s seat of a car with a gun in her right hand and obviously in distress as she appeared to be yelling into a cell phone,” May said. “He was able to advance undetected towards the passenger side of vehicle since the female was still yelling into the cell phone.
“He opened the passenger door and quickly wrapped his arms around her to pin her from making any further movements.”
Her movement restricted, the woman dropped the loaded gun to the floorboard of the car, where Corder retrieved it and handed it to Sgt. Garcia, May said.
Corder, meanwhile, continued efforts to console the woman “who was still crying telling him she wanted to kill herself,” May said.
Initially refusing “all offers of any support or assistance,” the woman agreed to seek help after Lt. Thomas Riggins arrived and began a conversation, May said.
Escorted into the Emergency Department, the woman was seen by a doctor who ordered an involuntary commitment for mental health care.