Mesa standoff ends with officer shooting, killing suicidal manPosted: Updated:
MESA, Ariz. -- A tense standoff in Mesa ended with officers shooting and killing a suicidal man overnight.
The standoff went on for more than three hours. Negotiators made several attempts to convince the man to surrender. In the end, however, the man walked outside and threatened officers with a handgun. That's when bullets flew.
According to Detective Steve Berry, the man's wife called police to report that her husband had been drinking and was irrational and suicidal.
Police responded to the home in the area of Alma School Road and Southern Avenue shortly before 9 p.m. Officers were able to get the wife out safely, but the man barricaded himself inside the house.
Early on in the standoff, the man, who has been identified as Douglas Watson, 59, went out into the garage and confronted police. He was armed. Officers with the SWAT team were already on the scene. They tried to use non-lethal rubber bullets to disarm and subdue the man.
"At that point, he went back inside; negotiations continued," Berry said.
Watson came out a second time a couple of hours later. Berry said officers once again tried non-lethal options, including beanbags.
"That didn't work. He continued to advance on the officers and, unfortunately, he was shot," Berry explained.
Watson was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead
Investigators are trying to determine if this incident might have a "suicide by cop."
"I don't know, obviously, what was going through this gentleman's mind, but certainly that's always a possibility, something that we have to look for," Berry said.
The officer who shot the man has been identifed as Andrew Walag. He is on paid administrative leave. That is standard procedure any time an officer fires his weapon.