Man Calls a Suicide Prevention Hotline, SWAT Team Shows Up and Kills Him

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A Roy, Utah man, Jose Calzada, 35, placed a call to a suicide prevention hotline at 4:00 a.m. Tuesday morning and threatened to kill himself, seven hour later he was shot and killed by police, according to law enforcement.

By Jay Syrmopoulos @ The Free Thought Project

According to ABC 4, neighbors described Calzada as a quiet, friendly man, who was divorced and now lived in the home with his girlfriend and her children.

The first tragic mistake in this case was made when the Weber County Consolidated Dispatch Center sent officers to the residence rather than some type of crisis response team trained to deal with suicidal individuals.

From previous cases, such as that of Jason Turk, who was shot twice in the face after a suicide call to 9-1-1 by his wife, or that of Christian Alberto Sierra, who was suffering from depression and had attempted suicide when police showed up and shot him four times, killing him. Most know all too well what happens when you send officers to “assist” people threatening suicide.

Subsequently, a SWAT team came to the residence and “negotiated” with Calzada for more than seven hours before taking his life.

 

“At some point those negotiations failed and unfortunately the SWAT team was involved in a shooting, and the subject is now deceased,” said Roy PD spokesman Matt Gwynn.

Eyewitness Ron Smith told the Standard-Examiner that he heard “one shot, and then a pause, and then four or five shots after that, that were very rapid.”

Specifics of the case were not released but Gwynn was sure to explain the cop logic of reasonableness stating, “Officers are authorized to stop a threat whenever their life is threatened, or the life of another is threatened. And at that point if the officer feels he is justified, he may act to stop that threat.”

“This is being treated as a officer assisted suicide or suicide by cops,” Gwynn said.

While that could potentially be the case, this is usually the default position of law enforcement when unprepared officers show up to deal with individuals experiencing severe mental health issues.

Often police go into these situations with an ingrained mentality of looking at citizens as threats to the safety of the officers and thus feel empowered and justified to use lethal force as the suicidal person has already threatened to kill someone, themselves.

Gwynn went on to state, “We encourage those having suicidal thoughts or tendencies to contact a physician or expert that can talk them through it. In this particular case he attempted to do that — it’s unfortunate and sad that it failed.”

Sadly, Gwynn’s words ring hollow as Calzada did exactly as Gwynn suggests and ended up paying the ultimate price as is far too often the case in these situations.

This article originally appeared at the The Free Thought Project.

  • Tim Lewis

    If he pointed a gun or shot at cops they did what they had to do .if he was unarmed and just threatening to do something than they cops used to much force.need more info

  • Charles Bradley Quillen

    Hey, they saved him from committing suicide! Go TEAM!

  • JB

    Wait! Isn’t assisting with a suicide a FELONY!??? So because of the statement by the PS spokesman the officers involved should be prosecuted to the FULLEST extent of the law! Put them ALL in jail or on death row for MURDER!

  • Mike

    Please, with your vast experience as a cop, explain a situation where a citizen is brandishing a weapon that isn’t a threat to police and other citizens.

  • Kaela Creighton

    I tried to get the cops to kill me once. I was in a lot of pain from a head injury and wanted to be put out of my misery. They handled it fairly well. The above is not always the case. It’s hard to deal with someone who is unstable.

  • Ellie

    Why is there no better protocol than to shoot to kill? So if I slit my wrists, call 911, cops show up and see a knife, they are doing the right thing by killing me?

    Please explain

    • Lilith Mourning

      Yes they are doing thier job even if no one agrees that it’s right or not. Committing suicide is illeagal..so in order for them to stop YOU from doing something illeagal..they are required to shoot to kill. Sad but true.

      • Jess Robinson

        Ridiculously stupid logic but she is very right about suicide being illegal. If your suicide attempt fails they throw you in prison, or a “mental rehabilitation center”. 😛

        • Robin Tedlock

          They don’t throw you in prison, they do send you to a psychiatric center. Is this a problem for some reason? If not then why does it matter if the cops kill a person who desperately wants to die? Or ignore them the 911 calls (oh boy you would never hear the end of it if they did that!) Your entire argument obviously stems from the fact you just don’t like cops

          • Tor

            it is not, in any state, illegal to commit or to threaten to commit suicide. please get your facts straight

          • Alex Amavisca

            Unfortunately, as someone who has had cops called on them twice, it is a felony for you to commit suicide so that if you do attempt, the cops can break down the door without a warrant. It gets them into the house to arrest you for attempting to take your own life (possibly saving it).

            ITT: Reviving dead threads, sorry.

      • Superfluid

        You’re an idiot. Sad but true.

  • Lilith Mourning

    Ok, so that everyone isn’t confused…***Committing suicide is ILLEAGAL***…so…Cops are *REQUIRED* to shoot to kill the person Before he commits suicide! For example, If a man jumps out of a building to kill himself, police are supposed to shoot and kill him before he hits the ground. If you want to stop someone from committing suicide, call a therapist or something…NOT the cops!

    • Robin Tedlock

      You are being deliberately stupid here. Do you seriously think that if a person was threatening to jump off a building that the police would shoot them first? People who mean it do it, and the cops show up because they get a report of a shotgun blast in the apartment next door (or foul smell or whatever). A lot of people who say they want to commit suicide with guns are acting erratically and/or violently beforehand – this is the reason cops have to respond to the threat. What part of “CRAZY FUCK WITH A GUN” do you fail to grasp?

  • Robin Tedlock

    The argument seems to be that “Crisis Response” should have been used. OK! And if that didn’t work? (It seems it wouldnt have and then they would have sent in the regular cops). After 7 hours should the cops just have left at that point? “Oh Well! We Tried”. What would be said later if this guy ran out of the house and shot a kid or some other person? “The police don’t do anything!” Police abuse exists but people really truly do set up a lose-lose situation for police. You can hate a cop if they act and you can hate them if they don’t act! This guy is dead because he was completely beyond help at this point. Sad, but welcome to the adult world. Grow the fuck up.

    • Lol33333333

      Damn, it must be hard being retarded.

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  • idiot

    Friend posted a link to this article on Facebook. At first glance I thought it was just another satire piece from The Onion, but no, that is our reality.