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Man shot by police charged with reckless endangerment

Martin told police he wanted to commit suicide by cop

May 2, 2013

 A 44-year-old Waukesha man shot by officers on April 21 after allegedly running at police wielding two knives was charged Wednesday with recklessly endangering safety and obstructing an officer.

Gibson P. Martin could potentially face more than 16 years in prison for allegedly threatening to, “cut throats” and taking a family friend hostage during the early morning standoff. Five different law enforcement officials, three Waukesha Police officers and two Sheriff’s deputies, fired rounds at Martin, who was transported by helicopter to Froedtert Hospital for medical treatment. He allegedly told an officer he wanted to, “commit suicide by cop.”

The District Attorney’s reviewed the incident, as is standard whenever a law enforcement official uses deadly force in the line of duty, and found no basis for charging the officers involved.

District Attorney Brad Schimel said in a letter sent to the Waukesha Police Department and Sheriff’s Department: “…Any reasonable person in the circumstances of the officers would have perceived that Mr. Martin posed a clear threat of great bodily harm or death to others.”

According to the criminal complaint:

Waukesha Police were notified at approximately 1:48 a.m. on Sunday, April 21 of a suicidal man residing at 507 Spring Crest Circle in Waukesha. The man, Martin, had previously refused mental treatment at Waukesha Memorial Hospital and family friend Marty Thomas told police he was making paranoid statements and threatening to jump off a bridge.

Thomas’ wife Adrienne Thomas called while police were en route to the location and said that Martin had grabbed two knives and her husband was trying to disarm him. Martin himself called police a short time later and said he had taken Marty hostage.

Police set up a perimeter around the Thomas’ residence and managed to get Marty on the phone. He told police that Martin was threatening to cut throats.

Adrienne managed to escape through the garage and Marty followed shortly thereafter. As Marty was walking toward the officers’ position, Martin came out of the garage swinging two kitchen knives in a, “violent slashing motion.”

Officers said they ordered Martin to drop the weapons several times, but were ignored. Three Waukesha Police officers and two Sheriff’s deputies fired at Martin, who collapsed on the ground.

Police attempted to interview Martin Sunday morning, but he refused to make a statement without an attorney present. As the officer was leaving, Martin allegedly told him he did not want to hurt the Thomas’ and only wished to, “commit suicide by cop.”

Martin is expected to appear at a preliminary hearing on May 8.

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