Deputy defuses threat of woman with a gun
By Heidi Terry-Litchfield – email@example.com
A Coal City area woman threatening suicide held Grundy County Sheriff’s personnel at bay for several hours Tuesday evening.
The sheriff’s office was dispatched to Goose Lake Prairie State Natural Area at 4:45 p.m. in response to a call from a family member of the woman.
“It was reported the woman had taken some pills and had a gun in her possession and was threatening suicide,” Sheriff Marketti said Tuesday night.
The family member had been present with the woman, but backed off and called the police because of the gun.
The sheriff, a sergeant, and three deputies responded to the scene.
Deputy Terry Bitner contacted the woman via phone and talked to her for two hours.
“We had deputies in the weeds keeping a visual on her,” Marketti said. “Deputy Bitner convinced her to let him come meet her.”
Upon approaching, Bitner talked her into putting her gun down and she was transported to Morris Hospital by Coal City ambulance.
At 7:45 p.m., the sheriff’s department cleared the scene.
Marketti said family told him she had been depressed lately and started taking medication, but he did not know the cause of her depression.
Sheriff Marketti, along with several of his deputies, including Bitner, are trained for hostage negotiation, which included training for suicide prevention.
“I’ve used the training several times over the years,” Marketti said. “But it’s not something we use frequently and something we hope we don’t have to.”