Police struggle with armed man, safely fire and take his gun

Heart-pounding moments for police in Montgomery County after an encounter with a gunman, overnight. There was a frantic struggle to get the gun away from the man, and there were shots fired.

FOX 29's Dave Kinchen reports it happened at about midnight in Glenside.

According to Abington Township Police Chief Bill Kelly, "Early on Sunday evening, Upper Dublin PD put out an advisory that a suicidal resident had said goodbye to his family and said he was going out to commit suicide. The family said he may be armed with a handgun."

Then, he continued, "A little before midnight Sunday evening, an alert Abington police officer spotted the gentleman and stopped to talk to him. The officer offered to give the man a ride to his home. The man had both of his hands in his pockets and refused to remove them. So the officer patted down the suspect and felt a gun in one of his pockets. As he did, the male drew the gun and began waving it and said on several occasions: 'Shoot me!'"

APP users: Click here to watch the police chief discuss the frantic struggle (embedded)

The welfare check was at Limekiln Pike and Mount Carmel Avenue.

Then, Chief Kelly explained, "As one officer drew his gun, an Abington police sergeant who was on the scene lunged at the suspect in an attempt to disarm him before anyone got hurt. As they struggled over the gun, it discharged several times but fortunately no one was hurt seriously."

Officers had fired five shots from the gun to empty it. Luckily, the bullets did not hit anyone and the the 32-year-old man was wrestled to the ground.

An officer was hurt during the struggle with a shoulder injury and also trouble hearing on one side, because the firearm went off near the officer's ear. That officer is being treated and expected to be OK.

Police got a warrant for the now-unarmed man, cuffed him and took him to the hospital.

"Needless to say, I am very appreciative of the dedicated and courageous actions of the officers who spared the life of this suicidal man," the chief said proudly.