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Officer shares detail on resolving Pueblo standoff - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Officer shares detail on resolving Pueblo standoff

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PUEBLO -

It was a crisis averted near Parkview Hospital Monday.

A Pueblo police officer talked a man out of committing suicide. Then, just minutes after he was detained, the officer rushes up to give him a hug.

Corporal Richard Jones told News 5 that Monday was one of the most intense days he's ever had on the job. But, after finding a connection with the man planning to kill himself, Jones said he's thankful just to have been there.

"His eyes are big. As he walks towards me, he starts telling me to kill him. Over and over he tells me to kill him," Jones said, describing the incident as it happened. "And I'm telling him over and over again to drop the gun."

Pueblo police respond to a handful of suicide calls everyday, but Jones knew this one was different, when he saw the letters 'D' and 'V' on the man's jacket.

"I started looking at this young man, and I started noticing that he has a ball cap just like we wear in the military," Jones said. "And I start realizing that, most likely, I'm dealing with a vet."

Jones then called for a less lethal response. Instead, he wanted to converse with the man and talk him out of suicide.

That's when he realized that they actually have a lot in common, as Jones spent 24 years in the military himself.

"Every time he would say something that he was going through that he had done, and the pain he was feeling, I would tell him that I had been there," Jones said. "I had done that too, and I had gotten out of it."

They talked about deployments and the pressure of serving our country and coming back to civilian life. Jones even told the man he was getting counseling. Still, the man persisted.

"He just keeps telling me how he wants me to kill him, and I keep telling him, from one veteran to another, I can't do that," he said.

Jones said he thinks that line is what led the man to drop his gun.

Steven Dunfee recorded the entire situation from the hospital skywalk, and said it was the right thing to do should the police department need evidence.

Dunfee told News 5 he's happy the responding officers didn't use lethal force.

"All you hear about is cops shooting other people, and they're just getting beaten down and everything like that," Dunfee said. "So, it actually shows a good side that, you know, their last option is to actually take someone's life."

Dunfee then captured a moment of pure emotion — a hug between Jones and the man — and the end of a situation that could have been much worse.

"Just a fellow brother. Fellow brother in arms, and I was able to give him a hug and tell him that I will do everything I can for him, and everything in my power, and anything outside my power to help this gentleman," Jones said.

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