Two Whiteville Police officers are being hailed for preventing a suicide at Columbus Rgeional Tuesday.
Officer M. Corder and Sgt. J. Garcia were dispatched to the hospital around 11:50 a.m. to investigate a report of a woman with a firearm in the parking lot, Major Alan May said. The hospital was put on lockdown due to the emergency.
Corder was the first on the scene, May said, the officer saw a young black female sitting in the driver’s seat of a Pontiac with a handgun in her right hand.
“She was obviously in distress as she appeared to be yelling into a cell phone,” May said.
Corder was able to advance undetected towards the passenger side of vehicle while the woman was on the phone, May said. The officer opened the door and managed to wrap his arms around herm, causing her to drop the pistol. Corder handed the weapon off to Garcia, then stayed in the car with the woman.
“He was attempting to console her while she was still crying, telling him she wanted to kill herself,” May said.
At first the woman refused any assistance, May said, but after Lt. T. Riggins the three officers were able to convince her to seek help. They escorted her into the emergency room, where a doctor involuntarily committed her for a mental health evaluation.
The lockdown was lifted after the woman was taken into custody, May said.