Crime & Justice

Incident with armed man outside UN headquarters ends peacefully

New York, Dec 2 (EFE).- A man spotted outside United Nations headquarters Thursday holding a shotgun to his chin surrendered to police after a standoff that lasted nearly three hours.

The spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Stephane Dujarric, said that a staff member entering the building noticed the man at around 10:45 am and alerted security, who immediately contacted the New York Police Department.

When they arrived, NYPD officers cleared the area of civilians and closed the street to traffic.

Protective barriers went up and a tactical vehicle was deployed while officers attempted to persuade the man to put down the gun.

The UN compound remained in lockdown until the man handed over the weapon and was taken into custody at 1:40 pm, Dujarric said, thanking the NYPD for their “quick response.”

During a subsequent press briefing at the scene, NYPD First Deputy Commissioner Ben Tucker said that police “knew early on this did not appear to be terrorism-related.”

The subject, identified only as a 64-year-old man from Florida, eventually told the officers he would surrender if they would deliver some notebooks to the UN.

When he saw an NYPD officer hand over the notebooks to a UN official, he laid down the shotgun and raised his arms above his head.

“They were medical papers and some other documents,” Tucker said, referring to the notebooks, adding that at first glance, the contents provided no hint to the nature of the man’s grievance.

Police took the suspect to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.

The NYPD bomb squad searched the man’s pickup truck and the nearby hotel where he spent Wednesday night and found “no outstanding threats,” the deputy commissioner said.

At no point did the man expressly threaten to kill himself, nor did he point the gun at officers, Tucker said, and “does not have a criminal record or history here in New York or elsewhere around the country.” EFE fjo/dr

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