A man with a gun held police at bay outside a government building for more than five hours Monday, shutting down part of downtown Mobile, Alabama, before shooting himself, authorities said. The man, who wasn't immediately identified, was believed to have suffered a life-threatening wound, but his condition wasn't immediately available, Police Chief Paul Prine told reporters. Before the standoff ended, Prince said the man seemed incoherent in discussions with mental health workers, the AP reports. Katrina Frazier, a police spokeswoman, told reporters that a man with an apparent gunshot wound was spotted in a parked car outside Government Plaza, which contains multiple Mobile County offices and courts.
Frazie said the man pointed a gun at his head when officers approached to see if he needed help, AL.com reports. "Officers backed away from the scene and we called in the SWAT teams and a negotiator," said Frazier. It wasn't clear whether the man may have shot himself or was shot by someone else. Photos and video from the scene showed dozens of officers pointing handguns and rifles toward a car parked along a curb. Mental health professionals were on the scene talking to the person, and no hostages were involved, James Barber, an aide in the mayor's office, told WALA-TV. Prine said the man's family was contacted, and "they made every effort to talk with him."
A window in the backseat of the car shattered moments before a man holding a gun to his head briefly exited the vehicle, stood on the sidewalk for a few moments and got back inside. An armored police vehicle was used to pin the car to a pole after the man attempted to drive away, Prine said, and the man shot himself after officers fired tear gas toward the car. "We did everything we knew we could to save this person's life," Prine said. "We really don’t know what his issue was today and why he took the decision to make the decisions he made today." (Read more Alabama stories.)