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Man fails at attempted 'suicide by cop'

Palatka police say man with gun wanted officers to shoot him

Booking photo of Guss Baker
Booking photo of Guss Baker

PALATKA, Fla. – A man was arrested Friday in Palatka after calling 911 to say he wanted police to shoot him.

Guss Baker, 57, is charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Police said Sgt. Mike Meredith, Lt. Scott Mast and K-9 Officer Ashton Cassidy responded to a home on South 18th Street about a man with a gun who was threatening to shoot it.

Meredith spotted Baker on the front porch of the residence, drinking a beer. He noticed Baker had a rifle sitting on the ground at his feet.

Once Meredith got close to the porch, Baker told him to stop and not come any closer. Meredith backed up to his vehicle and started talking with Baker.

Meredith and Cassidy asked Baker to leave the porch and walk to them, but Baker refused and told the officers to kill him.

As the officers talked to Baker, he repeatedly asked them to kill him.

After talking for several minutes, the officers were able to talk Baker into kicking the rifle away.

Once the rifle was out of Baker’s reach, the officers took him into custody.

It was later determined Baker was a convicted felon and he was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon.

“I am proud of the officers who handled the incident,” Capt. Matt Newcomb said. “They maintained control of the situation and no one was hurt. Calls like this can obviously have a very different outcome. Our staff did a great job.”