New details in the tazing of a suspect with a gun over the weekend
A man attempting "suicide by cop," according to Sheriff Jimmy Bench, was taken into custody without lethal force Saturday.
Marcus Lavender was arrested and has been charged with 1st Degree Assault, Armed Criminal Action, Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Resisting/Interfering with an Arrest for a Felony. He is being held on a $750,000 cash only bond in Pulaski County Jail.
The charges stem from a call, Saturday morning, where deputies were called to a residence in the 10,000 block of MM Highway, near Dixon, for a well-being check.
According to the probable cause statement, deputies were advised before arriving on scene that "Lavender would shoot any law enforcement officer that came to the residence." Deputies arrived to find recently fired shell casings and approached the residence.
Lavender's girlfriend reported to deputies that Lavender was intoxicated and told her that "he did not want to live and would shoot anyone who came and stopped him."
Pulaski County Sheriff's Department (PCSD) reported that one deputy knocked on the front door, while the other approached from the side. Lavender answered the door with a rifle in his hands.
"Lavender exited the residence in a hostile manner pointing the rifle" at the deputy who "attempted to pull the firearm away from Lavender fearing for his life," the probable cause statement reported.
The deputy and Lavender struggled for the gun and during "the struggle for the firearm Lavender pulled the trigger discharging one shot" towards the deputy. The probable cause statement reports that the deputy "gave loud commands for Lavender to drop the weapon and he was under arrest," but Lavender "ignored" him and "continued to struggle over the firearm."
During the struggle for the gun, Lavender "was able to control the firearm and point the firearm" at the second deputy. Bench reported that Lavender was tazed by the second deputy and taken into custody without injury.
Bench said he was very proud of his officers and how they "showed great restraint" in a situation that "could have gone south really fast."
"He begged them to shoot him," Bench said, discussing how difficult it is for law enforcement in situations where a suspect is trying to "commit suicide by cop."
"Our officers are well-trained and they kept their cool and I commend them for it," Bench said. "This went down with no one getting shot and you can't ask for anything better than that."
Lavender was taken to the Pulaski County Jail on a 24 hour hold so that charges could be filed. During the course of subduing Lavender, deputies reported in the probable cause statement that they "smelled a strong odor of intoxicants" from Lavender's breath and he "appeared" to be intoxicated.
The Daily Guide will continue to follow this story as it develops.