Standoff ends when ‘human shield’ grabs gun from man asking cops to kill him, police say
A Bernardsville man used his friend as a human shield during a standoff with police at his home, police said.
Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson said that on Sunday, at about 2:09, a.m. Bernardsville police responded to a 911 call about an assault in progress at an Old Wood Road residence. Dispatchers told patrols a man, later identified as James Tyrone, was armed with a handgun, the prosecutor's office said.
Sgt. Jon-Paul Tay and Patrolman Robert Schlittler encountered an injured 42 year old female who was bleeding from a head wound, the prosecutor's office said. While trying to remove the woman from the residence, they encountered Tyrone, who aimed a handgun at. Tay and then retreated into the residence, the prosecutor's office said.
Then, back inside the home, Tyrone grabbed a 39-year-old male friend who was visiting him and used him as a human shield while pointing the gun at both officers and his friend, the prosecutor's office said.
Tyrone asked the officers to kill him as he threatened to shoot his friend and then himself, it said.
Tyrone refused an order to drop his weapon and pointed a fully loaded Walther P99, 9 mm handgun at his friend's chest, according to Robertson, who said the friend was able to grab it away from Tyrone — allowing police to move in and take Tyrone into custody.
Tyrone was hospitalized for observation and faces several assault and weapons possession charges, the prosecutor's office said. He is being held pending $75,000 bail.
Robertson commended Bernardsville Tay and Schlittler for their "timely response and heroic actions."
The prosecutor said that "faced with a deadly force encounter these officers demonstrated the utmost restraint and were able to successfully bring this event to a peaceful conclusion."
The woman, who was bleeding from the head when police arrived, was hospitalized and treated for her injuries, the prosecutor's office said.
Police units from Far Hills, Bernards Township, and Peapack-Gladstone also responded to the incident.