Newly released body camera video shows an incident in which two Missouri deputies avoided shooting a man determined to commit suicide by cop.
Pulaski County Sheriff's Detective Howard Brickner and Corporal Lynn Bays responded to the residence of Marcus Lavender for a well-being check all and were warned by dispatch that the man threatened to shoot any officers that arrived on the scene, according to The Waynesville Daily Guide.
The deputies noticed an open bottle of alcohol in the seat of a truck on the property and Bays walked around to the back of the house as Brickner knocked on the front door.
"The front door was opening with the muzzle of a weapon behind it. I grabbed a hold of the muzzle pushing it away and wrapped around the guy and we started to wrestle with the gun," Brickner told the newspaper. "It went off. I had yelled for my partner and he'd come running,"
As Brickner attempted to direct the muzzle of the weapon to the ground, Bays ran to assist him and found his partner struggle with Lavender over the rifle.
Bays then pulled out his service weapon and ordered the suspect to drop the rifle, but did not open fire because Brickner was at risk of being shot. He instead used is his taser on Lavender and helped Brickner secure him, as the man begged them to shoot him saying, "I want to die."
"They handled the situation the best way they knew how without shooting someone," Pulaski County Sheriff Jimmy Bench said. "I commend them for that. When you've got a gun pointed at you, that's awful hard."
Lavender was recently sentenced on two charges related to the incident and received four years for Unlawful Use of a Weapon and seven years for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm.