HEROES: Paterson police averted a potential tragedy when they quickly seized a suicidal Wayne woman who reached for a loaded gun as they approached her, authorities said.
Officers responding to a call of a sick or injured person found the 40-year-old woman sitting in a car Sunday afternoon near the corner of Straight and Montgomery streets.
When they opened the car door to check on her, the woman threw a bag of heroin to the ground and began cursing at them, Police Director Jerry Speziale said.
Then she reached under the seat, he said.
One officer yelled “Gun!” as they converged on her, getting the woman out of the vehicle and into handcuffs before she could grab the weapon, Speziale said.
The black Taurus 9mm handgun was loaded, he said.
The woman – who has a criminal history -- told the officers that she was “going to either shoot the officers or herself,” the director said Monday.
Besides the weapon ad 11 rounds, police seized five heroin folds, he said.
The woman was taken to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center for evaluation.
Given her emotional status, her identity was initially being withheld, Speziale said.
Police charged her with resisting arrest and drug and weapons counts, including having a prohibited large-capacity magazine and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, he said.
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