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Suicidal Sussex County Man Fires Handgun At Officers And Flees, Prompting Temporary Lockdown

The altercation began in the parking garage under the Newton Town Centre complex on Spring Street, police said.
The altercation began in the parking garage under the Newton Town Centre complex on Spring Street, police said. Photo Credit: Google Maps (Street View)

A suicidal man found with a handgun in a Sussex County parking garage fired two shots at responding officers before driving away, prompting a temporary town-wide lockdown Monday afternoon, police said.

The elderly man — whose identity was not being released by police — called officers from the parking garage under the Newton Town Centre complex stating that he had a gun and was suicidal around 1:30 p.m., authorities said.

Officers found the man sitting in a chair next to his car and holding a .22 caliber handgun to his head, police said.

The officers initiated a conversation with the man, who fired two shots in their direction before getting into his car and driving off, dodging their attempts to block the area, police said.

The man was subsequently found outside Newton Medical Center, where he remained armed and was quickly subdued with physical force, police said.

“Throughout the encounter officers used exceptional restraint and no officer discharged their firearm,” police said.

A temporary “stay in place” order was issued as officers apprehended the shooter. Newton schools alerted parents of the lockdown and released students around 2:40 p.m., according to a statement on the district website.

While no officers were hit by gunfire, one sustained a minor leg injury and was treated at Newton Medical Center, police said.

The man remained under guard at Newton Medical Center as of Tuesday, police said.

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