A man who threatened suicide then fled through the streets of Columbia with a firearm is now in the hands of authorities.
Police were able to convince him to give up a handgun and turn himself in after an hour of tense negotiations. While law enforcement did not release the name the Community Voice has learned that the suspect is Jacob Stotts, of Columbia.
Columbia Police Chief Jason Cross said the incident occurred when officers responded to a call on Tutt Street. They were told a man said his son was holding a gun to his head and threatening to harm himself and other people.
When police arrived on the scene the man had fled through a wooded area toward East Frazier. All available officers were called out and police began walking the area searching for him. Cross said they had brief opportunities to talk to the suspect but were not able to get him to surrender.
The man climbed into a drainage tile under East Frazier. Police began to negotiate with him. Two officers, City Officer Josh Brockman and Deputy Sheriff Aaron Rainwater, went into the tile with Stotts.
Police were able to convince Stotts to give up the handgun then later to exit the tile. He was taken into custody at the scene.
Schools were put on a “soft lockdown” and daycares in the area were notified during the incident. The original call came in at 8:38 a.m. Stotts was in custody around 9:53 a.m.
“It turned out a whole lot better than it could have,” Chief Cross said.