Flagstaff PD arrest suicidal man after 8 hour standoff

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- A reportedly suicidal Flagstaff man was taken into police custody Saturday morning following a standoff with authorities that lasted several hours.

Flagstaff Police said they responded to a home just before 8:30 p.m. Friday after receiving a report of a suicidal person.

Officers arrived on scene to learn that 27-year-old Blake Gerstenberger had locked himself in a bedroom and appeared to be in possession of multiple handguns.

Witnesses told police that Gerstenberger was upset over issues in his life, which included his ex-wife, and wanted to try “suicide by cop.”

Negotiators, police, and officers with the Northern Arizona Tactical Team remained on scene for about eight hours while Gerstenberger was locked in the bedroom.

At times during the standoff police heard what sounded like gunshots. Gerstenberger would also occasionally taunt police from the bedroom window.

Officers eventually found an opportunity to throw gas into the room where Gerstenberger was located, and were able to place him under arrest with the help of a Taser.

“We are proud of the restraint and discipline that was used by the responding officers in the matter,” said Flagstaff Police Chief Kevin Treadway. “Their adherence to the mission of the Flagstaff Police Department to preserve life brought this incident to a positive conclusion.”

Gerstenberger was booked into the Coconino County Jail for disturbing the peace with a firearm. His condition was also evaluated.