Updated: Sep 27
On the morning of September 8, Grove City Division of Police officers were dispatched to Universal Medical Staffing, 3774 Broadway.
They found a distressed 24-year-old woman sitting in her Honda Civic, holding a gun to her head. Moments earlier, the woman walked into the business and left behind a note stating that she was going to shoot herself in the head.
The woman was in danger; innocent bystanders and police were in danger. Officers had no idea why the woman wanted to take her own life or what extremes she would take to that end. It was a ticking time bomb.
Swiftly and quietly, officers secured the parking lot. The last thing they wanted to do was create a scene, cause the woman to panic, and put her on the defensive.
Sgt. Chris Eberhard, a 32-year veteran of the Division, had the job of negotiating with the troubled woman, all while she held a loaded Taurus .38 caliber handgun to her temple.
We don't know what Sgt. Eberhard said to the individual, but his words put the woman in a calm state, and she laid the weapon down on the dashboard and exited the vehicle.
Jackson Twp. Medics transported her to Mount Carmel Grove City for psychological evaluation. We can only hope she gets the help she needs, so she never again enters such a dark place.
This call could have gone bad, really bad. The woman was upset and threatened to take her own life. Police say she had 48 rounds of ammo. Many lives could have been lost on this day.
Because of Sgt. Eberhard and his fellow officers who were on the scene that morning, not a shot was fired, and everyone made it home alive.
"Police work has always been challenging, but now it is more than ever," said Grove City Division of Police Lt. Jason Stern. "Today's police officer is expected to have the knowledge of a practicing attorney, the experience of a seasoned therapist, the skills of a combat medic, and the tactics of a special operations unit. The officer then must take in their environment and apply that knowledge in a split second to make life-altering decisions. The officers on the scene of this incident followed the priorities of life, kept the community safe, and exercised tremendous care with a female who was in crisis. I am proud of the job they do each day, but this incident was a special challenge and was handled by true professionals."
The Sussi Report commends Sgt. Chris Eberhard and the Grove City Division of Police for superior police work.
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