ShareThis Page

Man surrenders after standoff in Lawrenceville home

| Sunday, April 1, 2012

andrew russell | tribune-review

Pittsburgh SWAT team leaders on Saturday night negotiated a peaceful resolution to an hours-long standoff with a man believed to be mentally disturbed and heavily armed inside his Lawrenceville residence, a police official said.

Gary Wright, 42, of the 5200 block of Duncan Street surrendered to police about 7:50 p.m., more than three hours after family members called authorities with concerns about his mental health and to ask that he be involuntarily committed, said police Cmdr. RaShall Brackney.

"He is not facing any criminal charges," Brackney said. "At this point, it's obvious he needs mental intervention more than he needs police intervention."

Authorities took Wright to UPMC Presbyterian for a preliminary medical evaluation before likely transferring him to Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, also in Oakland, she said.

An emergency call arrived about 4:30 p.m. from Resolve Crisis Network, a mental health hotline and center run by UPMC, Brackney said. It was attempting to serve a warrant for involuntary commitment, she said.

"We received information the suspect was heavily armed with a 9 mm and a Desert Eagle," or semi-automatic handgun, Brackney said.

Police also believed Wright could have been under the influence of psychiatric drugs and alcohol, she said.

Police searched the residence after taking Wright into custody, but no weapons were found, she said.

"I'm just glad it ended without any violence whatsoever," said neighbor Bill Huffman, 34.

Two years ago, Sharpsburg police officers used stun guns to subdue Wright during an altercation, Brackney said.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.