Housing Officer Christopher Blom was called while patrolling the area of Flushing, Queens, in the early afternoon of July 10. A lone woman needed assistance; her family was worried about her state of mind and had made a frantic call to the NYPD asking for help, reports the NY Daily News.
Blom and his partner located the 47-year-old woman, who remains anonymous, close to her home in the passenger seat of her car. “Because of the storm it was hard to see [inside],” said Blom, who approached the car alone, adding that he could nonetheless make out a firearm in the despondent woman’s hand.
“She’s crying,” the officer recalled, “and below the window line you can see the gun. I just froze for a moment.”
The 16-year NYPD veteran admitted feeling nervous but knew that it was his duty to intervene. Blom tapped on the window of the woman’s car and asked if he could get an opportunity to speak with her.
“If we can just talk, I would love to be able to help you,” Blom recalled asking. The woman, who works in law enforcement but not for the NYPD, accepted Blom’s request. She let her attention drift from the weapon in her hand as Blom opened the opposite car door and sat behind the wheel.
Seconds later, the woman was in tears in the officer’s arms.
Then after a few moments, he put his hand on top of the gun so that he could prevent her from firing it in case she were to try to pull the trigger at any time.
She then agreed to undergo a medical evaluation and willingly gave up the gun. The compassionate officer stayed with the 47-year-old, having talked her away from the brink of despair until her ambulance arrived.
“Before she left, I tapped on the ambulance’s glass,” said Blom. “I waved at her and told her I’ll check in on her. She said, ‘Thank you.’”
On July 13, Police Chief David Barrere met with the heroic officer before posting a message of gratitude on Twitter. “A pleasure to meet & thank your Housing Officer Blom who searched for a suicidal female after a 911 call,” Barrere wrote.
“[He] found her, took his time listening, talked to her with compassion, & ultimately ended up removing the gun she pointed at herself, saving her life & getting her help,” the police chief explained, sharing Blom’s kind actions with the community.
On average, one person dies by suicide every five hours in the state of New York, according to data from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Suicide happens to be the 12th leading cause of death in the state as a whole.
“Yesterday was very stressful,” Officer Blom admitted, reflecting on the life-changing rescue of July 10 with the NY Daily News, “but after it was done I saw the looks on her family’s face, and when she hugged me and said, ‘Thank you,’ I felt amazing.”
“Tomorrow can be a brand-new day for her,” he said.
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