Chief: Six-hour armed standoff in Newberry Twp. ends peacefully

Liz Evans Scolforo, 505-5429/@LizScolforoYD
  • Newberry Twp. Police said they were called to Stevens Road on Wednesday morning for a suicidal man.
  • The man sat in his yard and held a gun to his head for six hours, Chief John Snyder said.
  • York County negotiators eventually convinced him to put down the gun and go to a local hospital.

A suicidal Newberry Township man who kept police at bay for six hours Wednesday by holding a gun to his head eventually gave up and allowed himself to be taken to a local hospital, Newberry Township Police Chief John Snyder said.

Officials block Stevens Road in Newberry Township during a six-hour standoff Wednesday, July 13, 2016.
(Dawn J. Sagert photo)

The man, who lives in the 900 block of Stevens Road, has mental-health issues and isn't facing criminal charges, according to the chief.

"He didn't threaten his wife; he didn't threaten police," Snyder said. "He presented no danger to the public — only to himself."

Snyder said officers were called to the home about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday for a report of a suicidal subject.

"We were called there by his wife," the chief said. "When we got there, he already had a handgun and was pointing it at his head. We got her out of there ... and from there it became a standoff."

Officers evacuated neighbors in the area and blocked off Stevens Road to traffic, he said.

Didn't respond: The man sat in his rear yard with the gun to his head and wouldn't talk with officers.

"We tried to negotiate with him," Snyder said. "He wasn't responding to us at all."

Fire police blocked Stevens Road in Newberry Township during a standoff there Wednesday, July 13, 2016.
(Dawn J. Sagert photo)

Snyder said he requested help from the York County Quick Response and Negotiating Response teams.

Eventually, the man began responding to NRT negotiators, according to the chief.

"They convinced him to give himself up. ... They worked their magic," Snyder said. "I think over time they just wore him down. He threw the handgun in the yard and (QRT) took him into custody."

Patience, restraint: Snyder said QRT and NRT members used restraint, patience and common sense.

"We were going to be as patient as we had to be" and not force a resolution, the chief said. "I can't say enough about QRT and NRT. They do an incredible job and get no thanks for it. York County's blessed."

Snyder said he believes the situation could have escalated quickly.

"It went on longer than I wanted it to go on," he said, but "when it all ended, everybody was relieved and happy."

Wednesday's high heat and humidity took its toll on officers at the scene, Snyder said — especially those wearing heavy tactical gear.

The York-Adams Chapter of the American Red Cross came to the scene to provide drinks and food for first responders, including police and fire police officers, the chief said.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.