HPOU is recognizing a North Shepherd Patrol sergeant whose serious talk with an armed consumer in an apartment complex resulted in the man dropping his gun and giving up the effort to take his own life.
North Shepherd Officer Travis Murdock nominated Sgt. Marcus Leonard for this dutiful action on Oct 31, saying, “I am deeply moved by the actions of a patrol sergeant assigned to North Shepherd Patrol.”
Murdock was working the evening shift when he and another officer answered a disturbance call at an apartment complex. A man inside an apartment had a gun and was threatening to take his own life.
“I found the consumer’s mother-in-law and she and I took cover behind a wall. We held the scene with me at the primary door of the apartment. Officer Vincent Roach was on the patio door. We were told that the consumer was inside the apartment and barricaded himself inside.
“We knew he had a gun and threated to harm himself or others. The consumer had opened the front door slightly and the back door fully to lure those to him.”
When Murdock and Roach requested a supervisor, Sgt. Marcus Leonard responded and took command of the scene. The consumer had told Roach he had a gun to his head and wanted to use it.
“We were unable to make a personal connection at this time, and were stuck in our investigation,” Murdock explained despite his use of a Spanish-speaking officer from Major Assaults.
Upon his arrival Sgt. Leonard established communication with the consumer, who told the sergeant he had a gun to his head and wanted to shoot himself. He appeared credible as he continued to explain to us the level of distress and stress he was under currently.
“Sgt. Leonard built trust with the consumer, which was crucial in us initially making contact with him,” Murdock said. “Sgt. Leonard, as if he was a hostage negotiator, put on his Bluetooth headset and pleaded earnestly with the consumer. He was able to have the consumer secure the gun and peacefully come out of the apartment.
“I am convinced that God placed Sgt. Leonard at this scene intentionally for this reason.
“Sgt. Leonard saved this man’s life as it was clear that the consumer was very close to shooting himself. Sgt. Leonard not only supported his officers by giving them necessary information, but he also coordinated additional help. The sergeant advocated for this consumer and carefully navigated through words and actions establishing trust with him.
“Sgt. Leonard’s actions led to detention of the consumer with no use of force and a successful EDO of the consumer.
“As a leader and a supervisor, Sgt. Leonard supported his officers with safety, making sure we had cover during the incident, but also ensuring that we followed department procedures with regards to tagging of the firearm, so as to hopefully prevent the consumer from using it to hurt himself or others in the future.”