Georgia Sheriff Called to Distraught Man, 21, With Gun, Talks Him Into Putting It Down, Comforts Him

TIMEDecember 15, 2021

An armed standoff between a 21-year-old man and Haralson County Sheriff’s Department officers ended peacefully after Sheriff Stacy Williams was able to de-escalate a delicate situation.

Responding to a call of a domestic dispute between a father and son, Sheriff Williams on Nov. 10 arrived at a property in Buchanan, Georgia, where he was presented with a tense situation—a standoff between his deputies and a young man waving a gun, pacing in front of a mobile home.

Clearly distraught, the man wanted to commit suicide-by-cop; he wanted the officers to shoot him.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Haralson County Sheriffs Office)

“They tried to talk to him, and he just wasn’t communicating with them,” Sheriff Williams, 54, told The Epoch Times. “He just kept saying that he wanted them to kill him, and he wanted to die.”

Had the young man pointed his gun at the officers, it could have ended much worse, he added.

Trained in crisis intervention, Williams used positive words and constant reassurance to let him know they weren’t there to hurt him.

“Son, we’re not here to hurt you, we want to help you,” Sheriff Williams recalled himself saying. “Whatever happened, this is not a reason for doing what you’re doing. We’re here to help you.”

“I said, ‘Just please put the gun down,’” Williams added, “‘and walk away ten or fifteen foot, just I’ll come up and talk to you.’ I just kept pressing that.”

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Haralson County Sheriffs Office)

After a few minutes, the man looked up at him before putting his gun down and falling to his knees.

Not knowing if he had another gun, Sheriff Williams walked over, knelt beside the young man, and consoled him.

“He just started crying real bad, I reached out and grabbed him, hugged him, rubbed his head,” William said. “You got to show compassion, you got to show that you care.

“That’s what you do with everything, that’s what we do.”

He added, “We don’t go to work saying, ‘Yeah, I’m going to kill someone today,’ no. It don’t work like that.

“Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of all police are good, it’s always that one tenth of one percent that’s bad. We’re not part of that.”

Sheriff Williams told the newspaper that young man has received the help he needs, is back at home, and is doing better.

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Michael Wing
Editor and Writer
Michael Wing is a writer and editor based in Calgary, Canada, where he was born and educated in the arts. He writes mainly on culture, human interest, and trending news.