Monday, November 24, 2008
Attempted to Commit Suicide...Practice Makes Perfect
We were called to the loft apartment of a 33 y/o BF for an attempted suicide. When we got the call, the notes on our computer said that she was shooting up the place with a shotgun, and she's about to shoot herself. It sounded like a TRUE emergency, so we only took a few more bites of our dinners, before we headed out.
They called the right ambulance driver, because if anyone can talk someone out of shooting themselves, I can. My technique...based on the theory that people usually only kill themselves when they are coming OUT of depression...I use my verbal skills to lull them deep enough back into depression that they no longer have the energy or will to kill themselves.
Her girlfriend (the apparent fem in the relationship) called us because she got scared when the patient fired the shotgun in the house and blew a hole in the ceiling. That would explain why she's the fem...only a fem would be scared of a little gun fire in the house. The patient was pretending like she was trying to shoot herself, and she missed.
When we got there, and after the police made sure the scene was safe for a couple of EMS pansies, the patient and her fem girlfriend were sitting in the kitchen arguing about 'you don't love me' and 'why did you call the cops?' The gun was on the bed in the bedroom, and there was, in fact, a big hole in the ceiling. The police took all of her guns away (perks of the job, I guess...we get free band-aids...they get guns), and forced her to go to the county mental health rehabilitation facility. She did not go easily. The police had to kick her ass a little. It turns out, the patient was a federal police officer, so she kind of knew how to resist arrest.
After about an hour of trying to talk her into going to the hospital, and finally forcing her, she was taken to the county mental health hospital by the police. You would think that would be the end of the story, right? I mean, you figure, if somebody is being rehabilitated by the county, they're going to emerge as a well-adjusted, mentally stable person, right? Plus that, the government took away all her guns...how would someone without guns hurt themselves or others, right?
Two weeks later, we got a call to the same apartment. This time the computer said that the patient was inside the apartment, she had a gun, and she was waiting for the police to break in so she could fire at them, and they would shoot her dead (police assisted suicide).
When we arrived, there was no shortage of police on hand. They love this stuff. I don't know if their motivation was more to save her from shooting herself or to be the one who got to shoot her. They were all dressed in their semi-SWAT gear. A couple of guys had shotguns and assault rifles.
They asked us to breach the door, and when we did, the door only opened about a foot, being stopped by someone standing behind the door. The cops started yelling, "she's behind the door...she's got a gun...put the gun down, mother fuck#r...come out, god damn#t, put the fucki#g gun down..."
They continued yelling at her for about 10 minutes. All the neighbors were poking their heads out of their down and quickly retreating. We, of course, were hiding out 10-15 feet down the hall, waiting for the gun fight start.
After about 10 minutes, one of the officers got really brave and looked in the crack in the door...then...Blam, blam...the officers brains were sprayed all over the wall, ceiling, and all the other officers...the other officers started firing, she started firing, and when the smoke cleared, 2 of the 12 officers were the only ones standing...it was a total bloodbath.
Just kidding, when the officer looked in the crack, he saw a rope and said, "she's got a rope!...why does she have a rope?" Then he got brave again, got closer, and looked again. When he looked in the crack, he saw her looking back at him through the crack. He jumped back, processed what he saw a little, and said, "I think she's hanging by the rope." They looked again and verified that she was in fact hanging by a rope behind the door. We all felt kind of sheepish for engaging in a SWAT standoff with a hanging chick.
We checked to make sure she was dead, which was apparent without even touching her, since her eyes were bug-eyed & all dried out, her face was white (she's a black girl), and there were hardened stalagtites of snot hanging from her nose and mouth. She also had rigormortis. She must have been dead for more than a couple of hours.
It was a tiny bit weird when I got up close and looked at her, in the eyes...allowing myself to wonder, just for a second, if somehow she can still see me looking at her through her dried-up eyes...and thinking it was kind of rude to be staring at someone like that. I also allowed myself to wonder, just for a second, if she could somehow hear the jokes we were telling each other about the situation and...well, about the girl hanging from a rope. (don't count on a bunch of cops and firemen to solemnly respect the dead when nobody else is around...there have been times when we've had to take a second to collect ourselves before walking out a door where the public could see us.)
I left the scene feeling disappointed and confused. I could hardly believe that the government intervention (taking away the guns AND forcing her to go to government mental health rehabilitation) failed to stop a person from hurting herself. I mean, if government can't keep me from hurting myself, who can? I suddenly feel so unsafe, insecure, and scared to be alone with myself. The world is a different place.