GRANTS PASS, Ore. — A suicidal man with a gun is taken safely into custody Thursday night.
NewsWatch 12 was the only crew on scene. Several Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police troopers responded to the 300 block of Savage Creek Road.
It’s a road familiar to deputies. Previously on Monday, they took 36 year-old Patrick Secrest to the hospital. They were back Thursday night.
“Today he put a knife to his throat, and then he said that he was going to shoot himself,” said Jackson County Sheriff Sgt. Rick Kennedy.
Deputies knew Secrest’s girlfriend and her 9 year-old son were inside the home. But they didn’t know what to expect from the veteran.
“One of our concerns was that he had military history and he did fire off a round in the backyard prior to our arrival,” said Kennedy.
Troopers and deputies on scene were able to detain Secrest with no injuries. This time, it was a victory. But tomorrow, they can’t say it’ll be the same.
“Pretty much every night that I’m working, we have to deal with a war vet with some sort of mental disability or they just can’t cope with what’s happening out here,” said Kennedy.
The chairman of Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Rogue River says the veterans who come through the doors know it’s a problem. He says veterans often don’t know how to cope.
“I’ve had nightmares every night for 40 years. Longer than that. And my wife will attest to that. I think I’d like to cope with it myself. And I wish the nightmares would go away sometimes. But they don’t, ok? So, maybe they feel like they could cope with it themselves. But most guys, I think are living with it,” explained chairman Robert Wood.
“It’s a dangerous situation. Especially when they have access to firearms and so this is something that either everybody knows already or we need to deal with a lot better now,” said Kennedy.
Wood says resources are available like the Veterans Affairs domiciliary in White City and suicide hotlines. There is also family and the community.
“The important thing is to follow up and make sure they get that help or encourage them that if they have these issues with PTSD, and most everybody does whether they realize it or not,” said Wood.
For more information on suicide hotlines for veterans, click here.