Standoff involving suicidal man in front of Fairbanks Memorial Hospital ends peacefully

A seven-hour standoff outside Fairbanks Memorial Hospital Monday was resolved peacefully. Fairbanks Police report receiving a call after 9 a.m. Monday about a suicidal man with a gun in a car near the hospital emergency room entrance. A woman was in the car with the man. It’s unclear if she was there willingly, and if either were hospital patients.

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A City Special Weapons and Tactics, or SWAT team, and a State Trooper Special Emergency Response Team, deployed to the hospital.

City Police spokeswoman Yumi McCulloch says law enforcement successfully talked the man into surrendering without anyone getting hurt.

“We negotiated with him for about six or seven hours, and he did come out of the vehicle. The female came out with him,” McCulloch said. “And he was detained by law enforcement officers, and he was brought into the hospital with the officers and hospital staff.”

The situation forced security measures at the hospital, including alternate access to the Emergency Room. McCulloch credits the hospital’s handling of the all day standoff.

”The staff at the Fairbanks Memorial Hospital were phenomenal” McCulloch said. “They were very cooperative and helpful, and they provided food and drinks to the officers outside and inside and the negotiators inside.”

McCulloch thanks hospital patients who were cooperative in working around police operations. At a city council meeting last night Mayor Jim Matherly noted the volatile nature of standoff situations, and recognized how the hospital incident was handled.

”Sometimes the choices that person makes in that predicament decides the outcome,” Matherly said. “And in this case, they were able to communicate and bring it to a peaceful resolution, so I’m very proud of everybody who worked on that.”

The standoff prompted security measures in the neighborhoods surrounding the hospital, including at area schools, where doors were locked, and alternate transportation routes employed after school.

Police say no charges will be filed against the man.

This story contained contributions from Tim Ellis, Dan Bross and Robyne with KUAC.