Veteran commits suicide in front of church service during police standoff

A suicidal man, being described as an Iraq war veteran, shot himself outside of an Idaho church on Sunday afternoon,

Post Falls Police received a 911 call from the man, who said he was suicidal outside the Real Life Ministries church at 9:30 a.m.

Upon their arrival, they discovered a man standing under the Church’s cross with a gun to his head, according to 12News.

Real Life Ministries was conducting a service at the time of the incident and were placed on lockdown.  Police said it was not known if the man had any intention of entering the church but it was done as a safety precaution.

Police spent nearly three hours negotiating with the man, even using a robot to deliver the man a new cell phone after his phone died.

During negotiations, in which the man fire two shots from his firearm into the ground, police used a flashbang  to protect themselves while they attempted to help him.

Despite the negotiation period, in which the man fire two shots from his firearm into the ground, the police were unsuccessful in their attempts to subdue or talk down the man.

Post Falls Police Chief, Scott Haug, said the police officer conducting the negotiation was able to talk the man out of attempting a suicide-by-cop.

“The officer that was negotiating with him did a very good job of explaining to him, hey, all of us have families too. We all have children. We do not want to have to do something like that and deal with that and I think the officer who was negotiating with him actually talked him out of it,” said Haug.

The man eventually shot himself in the chest and died at the scene.

“What you do in this kind of situation is you are trying to create hope for someone and we had someone here that lost hope and had some difficult time in his life,” said Haug.

Authorities have yet to release his identity but did say the man said he was in his 50s and was a veteran of the Iraq War.  During an interview with Krem2, Haug said they are attempting to reach the man’s next of kin before they release his identity.

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