Two Missouri deputies in Pulaski County acted swiftly in a standoff with an armed man earlier this year, acting swiftly in their struggle against a suspect who was determined to die.
A daring rescue unfolded on bodycam footage as Detective Howard Brickner and then-Corporal Lynn Bays took on Marcus Lavender, who attempted to commit “suicide by cop” when the deputies came to conduct a well-being check on the felon.
Upon arrival to Lavender’s mobile home, dispatch warned them that Lavender had threatened to shoot any officers who came to the residence. Noticing an open bottle of alcohol, the two deputies split up and covered both exits of the mobile home.
Suddenly, the barrel of an SKS rifle poked out the front door.
“The front door was opening with the muzzle of a weapon behind it,” Brickner said.
Suddenly, the cold rural landscape echoed with the flat percussion of a 7.62×39 millimeter round leaving the rifle’s barrel.
“I grabbed a hold of the muzzle pushing it away and wrapped around the guy and we started to wrestle with the gun. It went off. I had yelled for my partner and he’d come running,” Brickner added.
Brickner struggled to point the muzzle of the SKS to the ground as Bays ran to assist his partner.
Ordering Lavender to drop the rifle, Bays refrained from firing in fears of hitting his fellow officer.
Bays ultimately used is his taser on Lavender and helped Brickner secure him. All the while, Lavender begged the officers to shoot him, telling them, “I want to die.”
According to the Waynesville Daily Guide, Lavender was detained on the scene. No major injuries were reported.
Pulaski County Sheriff Jimmy Bench said the incident shows that the agency doesn’t “see black or white.”
“We see a life, that’s all that matters. Your end goal is for everyone to go home safe,” Bench said. “They handled the situation the best way they knew how without shooting someone. I commend them for that. When you’ve got a gun pointed at you, that’s awful hard.”
The attack took place in January of this year, though Lavender was only recently sentenced- receiving four years in the Department of Corrections for Unlawful Use of a Weapon and seven years for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm.