A family member of a mentally unstable Manchester resident made a critical call to police and officers prevented a tragedy from taking place at the hands of a man who had a loaded gun.

Manchester Police officers successfully deescalated a situation in which the man, armed with a semi-automatic rifle told a family member that he wanted to “kill people.”

During the early morning hours of November 9 members of the Manchester Police Department investigated an incident at a Pine Lake Park residence in response to a call from a family member who had reported that a male occupant of the residence was acting irrationally and was in the process of loading a semi-automatic rifle.

The caller also told police dispatch that the 25-year-old male suffered from mental illness.

As officers made their way to the home, police dispatch instructed the caller and everyone else inside the residence to exit and move to a safe location.

The caller remained on the phone after leaving the home and was able to provide dispatch with valuable information with regard to what the man was doing inside the residence.

Officers met with the caller when they arrived and learned that the man had opened a second story window, removed the screen and established what she described as a “sniper hide.”

Police then carefully and tactically approached the residence.

They were then able to make verbal contact with the man and convince him to exit the residence without incident.

He was subsequently transported to the Community Medical Center Psychiatric Emergency Screening Services Unit for a mental health evaluation.

A search of the residence resulted in the recovery of a loaded rifle in the male’s room, along with a large quantity of ammunition.

Police also located a second rifle concealed in the attic.

“I am extremely proud of the officers and the police dispatcher for the way they handled this call," Manchester Police Chief Lisa Parker said. "These department members did an outstanding job de-escalating a situation which could have easily ended in tragedy. At the end of the day, our goal is to ensure the safety of our community and officers and today we were able to accomplish that goal.”

Manchester Police like many other local police agencies, offer information on the proper storage of firearms and also offers assistance in the destruction of unwanted firearms/weapons.

They offer a free destruction program which only requires the possessor to the sign a form of destruction at police headquarters.

Residents are reminded to keep all weapons properly secured at all times.

Information regarding the storage/destruction of firearms/weapons can be directed to Detective Sergeant Hemhauser at 732-657-2009 extension 4207.

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