Palm Coast, Fla. – A woman shot herself in front of Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies after holding her husband and son hostage for seven hours on Sunday, law enforcement said.
“It’s extremely tough. You know, she shot herself in front of deputies. We did use less-lethal measures trying to prevent that, but that was not successful. And, you know, I talked to my team, my SWAT team, and they’re shaken up. This is not the outcome that we all pray for. We have a great record in this agency for de-escalating events like this, but it’s much easier when people will communicate with you and in this case of seven hours, she would not communicate despite everything we tried with different technology and other tactics. So I was fearful this would be the outcome. We were very concerned it would be a suicide by cop,” Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said.
Deputies immediately jumped into the pool to rescue the woman after she shot herself and she was transported to a hospital by ambulance that was on stand-by. Sheriff Staly did not say if the woman died from the self-inflicted gunshot.
At some point during the standoff, the woman’s husband and their 16-year-old son escaped the house.
“We have a neighborhood with an armed individual with a mental health episode going on. So you just can’t leave. And that’s why we tried to negotiate. Negotiate it out. But negotiation only works when it’s a two-sided conversation,” Staley said.
Crews arrived on the scene at a house on Emerald Lake Drive in the Palm Coast Plantation neighborhood around 8 a.m. Sheriff Staly said the woman had a similar incident in Brevard County recently. That stand-off lasted nine hours and she was Baker Acted afterward.
“It helped us to know that it was probably not going to be successfully concluded by her actions is what they told us and unfortunately she obviously didn’t get the mental health help that she needed after that incident,” Staly said.
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office did not release the woman’s name.