The armed standoff which took place outside the United Nations in New York City quickly developed from potentially dangerous to just bizarre. A man from Florida showed up outside the building armed with a shotgun, aiming it at his head and demanding that his notebooks be delivered to the U.N. After a lengthy standoff the man finally surrendered peacefully after authorities agreed to deliver his books to a U.N. official.
Man threatens to shoot himself outside U.N. headquarters
There was panic initially and tense media reports as it became known that a man was brandishing a gun outside the United Nations headquarters.
A counterterrorism unit from the NYPD rushed to the scene and bystanders fled but it was soon apparent that the man did not appear to be threatening anyone other than himself.
The 64-year-old man, carrying a backpack and wearing a distinctive red coat, held a loaded shotgun under his chin and demanded that the notebooks in his bag be delivered to the U.N.
Police later confirmed that the man has no criminal record in New York or anywhere else in the country and that there was no indication of a terrorist motive.
It still took hours for negotiators to convince the man to drop the weapon. The standoff finally ended when he witnessed an officer handing the notebooks over to a U.N. official.
The man then dropped the gun and complied with all of the instructions given by NYPD officers, his mission apparently complete.
Standoff ends peacefully
The content of the books and the identity of the man have not been fully elaborated on yet but it was reported that the notebooks contained medical information and other documents.
Charges are pending and authorities have been evaluating the man’s mental health. Given the circumstances that must have seemed like the obvious place to start looking for a motive.
After surrendering peacefully the man told police the location of his hotel room and vehicle. Both were immediately searched and nothing hazardous was found.
There was some concern about explosives but the NYPD confirmed that the man had none either at the standoff or among his other possessions.
There does not seem to have been anything more to the situation other than his wish to deliver his documents to the U.N. and his threats to his own life.
It was a strange standoff but in the end it seems to have come to a satisfactory conclusion for everyone involved without any deaths or injuries occurring in the process.