Letter from a Barricaded Gunman

This job takes interesting twists and turns sometimes.  You mightletter-icon remember that on Easter Sunday our staff spent the holiday afternoon in a stand off with an armed gunman.  After about 4 hours he surrendered voluntarily.  He wanted some help with his personal problems and we promised that we would get him there if he surrendered and didn’t hurt anyone.  He kept his word and we kept ours.  Ultimately we didn’t charge him with a crime and determined that he was a “person requiring treatment” as they say and left it to the mental health system.

Initially he was very angry and called several of our command officers leaving angry messages about his hospitalization and subsequent incarceration (he had a warrant from another city outstanding).  Imagine our surprise when we got a letter from the gunman last week!  Maybe it is a little “restorative justice” which can go a long way to repairing a wrong. Even for the police officers who waited on perimeter lines for hours in an adrenaline high alert waiting for a potentially deadly event that thankfully didn’t happen, a letter like this can change their outlook on the situation.

I’ve enclosed the letter he wrote us that we shared with our entire staff.  I’ve removed the identifying information just so that we don’t bring more pressure to a family trying to get themselves together.

Barricaded Gunman Letter

We all hope that from this situation that he can gain a new perspective on life and move in a direction that improves his life and that of his family.

Figuratively speaking, we can now ride off into the sunset with the knowledge that a person’s destructive path was changed by our actions that day.

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I'm the Chief of Police for the Auburn Hills Police Department.