No gun found in pickup truck involved in police standoff in Frisco earlier this month

The North Carolina man involved in the standoff with Frisco police and the Summit County Sheriff's Office was arrested on misdemeanor charges

Two officers talk while one points a rifle toward an armed man in a black pickup truck involved in a stand-off at the Safeway parking lot in Frisco on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023.
Ryan Spencer/Summit Daily News

The man arrested earlier this month after an hourslong standoff with police in a Frisco supermarket parking lot did not have a gun in his vehicle, according to the Frisco Police Department.

Frisco police arrested a 27-year-old North Carolina man on misdemeanor charges after deploying chemical munitions to force him from his truck on Sept. 13, following a more than four-hour standoff with police. 

Police arrested the man on charges of driving under the influence, an unclassified misdemeanor; resisting arrest, a Class 2 misdemeanor; and obstructing a peace officer, a Class 2 misdemeanor. The 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office has not yet filed charges.

Around 6:30 a.m the day of the standoff, a Frisco Police Officer was dispatched to the parking lot of the shopping center off Colorado Highway 9 after an individual reported he was concerned about the man’s mental health, according to a probable cause statement filed in the case.

The reporting individual said the man was making statements like “people are going to die,” adding that he knows the man because the man sleeps in his truck in the shopping center’s parking lots, according to the probable cause statement. 

The man had his black pickup truck with dark tinted windows parked across several spots in the Safeway parking lot, and the officer approached cautiously, before engaging in a conversation with him through a cracked window, the probable cause document states.

The man rambled incoherently during parts of the conversation, at one point mentioning he had thought about killing people, according to the probable cause statement. Dispatch reportedly advised the officer that the Summit County Sheriff’s Office Systemwide Mental Assessment Response Team, which is able to dispatch a clinician and case manager alongside a deputy, was not on duty.

The officer called for a detective to assist him. At one point, the man reportedly began smoking marijuana in his truck. Dispatch then notified the officers that the man had called them and made several statements including, “Before we proceed with a standoff, I need the lead detective to bring me some weed,” according to the probable cause statement.

An officer walks toward a police standoff with a rifle outside of Safeway in Frisco on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023.
Ryan Spencer/Summit Daily News

Dispatch also informed the officers that a friend of the man’s informed them he had been hospitalized for mental health in the past and he had a gun and was a danger to others, the probable cause document states.

Officers soon approached the vehicle again and advised the man he was under arres. At this point, the man began reaching under his seat, causing an officer to draw his service weapon and point it at him, the probable cause document states.

“We’re in a standoff make your move,” the man said, before rolling his window up, prompting the officers to back away, according to the probable cause statement.

The Summit County Sheriff’s Office and Dillon Police Department soon arrived on scene, and the man’s vehicle was wedged between a sheriff’s office armored vehicle and a Frisco Police Department vehicle.

Ryan Spencer/Summit Daily News
Frisco Police Chief Tom Wickman (left) stands behind officers as they secure handcuffs on a man who they engaged in a four hour stand off with on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023.
Ryan Spencer/Summit Daily News

For three hours, the sheriff’s office and its mental health response team attempted to negotiate a surrender with the man, during which time he occasionally turned his vehicle on and revved the engine and made hand gestures pretending to shoot police, according to the probable cause statement. 

The man also displayed knives, holding them in both hands while not complying with police commands to drop the knives out the window, the probable cause statement says. During negotiations he said he wanted to kill police, according to the Frisco Police Department.

Just before 11:30 a.m., the decision was made to deploy chemical gas into the man’s vehicle. Upon gas being deployed, the man exited the passenger’s side door with his hands up. The Frisco Police Department later received a warrant to search the vehicle and found no gun, according to Frisco Communications Director Vanessa Agee.

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