Standoff with armed man ends peacefully

NORRIS — A five-hour standoff with an armed man in Norris ended peacefully on Monday.

According to Pickens County chief deputy Creed Hashe, deputies arrived within four minutes of receiving a call about a man outside a home on Old Schoolhouse Road armed with a handgun. Upon arrival deputies found the man, a Seneca resident, standing beside a vehicle with a semi-automatic pistol pointed at his chest.

Deputies began to talk with the man in an effort to persuade him to put the weapon down.

The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team was deployed, and negotiators from the crisis intervention team made contact with the man via cellphone, quickly learning that the situation stemmed from a domestic dispute and the man was contemplating taking his own life.

The man’s children were in a nearby residence.

Traffic was diverted for several hours and neighbors were alerted as negotiators continued to speak with the man.

After about five hours, the man surrendered to deputies without incident. He was transported to a local hospital for evaluation, and deputies recovered a fully loaded 9 mm handgun.

Sheriff Rick Clark, who was in command of the scene, said the man never made threats to harm anyone other than himself.

“Our primary concern is for the safety of this community and for (the man) and his family,” Clark said.

Clark commended his deputies for their quick response and local residents for their cooperation.

“Unfortunately, we were forced to disrupt the normal day-to-day activities of the neighbors within the area, but their cooperation played a huge role in perhaps saving (the man’s) life,” Clark said. “At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about … helping others when they have lost hope.”

No charges are expected to be filed in the case.