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Armed standoff shuts down Gulf-to-Bay

An armed, unidentified man was threatening suicide.

By TIMES STAFF
Published November 5, 2005


CLEARWATER - An armed man threatening suicide shut down part of Gulf-To-Bay Boulevard late Saturday night as authorities tried to defuse the situation.

Police say a man, whose identity was unknown, walked into the Clearwater Bait and Tackle Shop at 2999 Gulf-to-Bay Blvd just before 7 p.m. He got a beer, opened it and when asked by the clerk to pay for it, he pulled a handgun and told the clerk, "You should call the police," said Wayne Shelor, Clearwater police spokesman.

The man, who is in his late 30s to early 40s, then want outside and sat on a bench with the gun to his head. Police arrived shortly after and shut down the street from Hampton Road to McMullen-Booth Road and began negotiating with the man.

Shelor said the man had threatened no one but himself.

Late into the night, the man talked with authorities via a telephone that police had provided him.

Police planned to stay and keep the road closed as long as it took to end the situation. Shelor said authorities hoped to take the man into custody under the state's Baker Act, which allows for the confinement of mentally unstable people.