Belton PD officer commended for preventing potential suicide

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BELTON, S.C. (WSPA) — The Belton Police Department on Wednesday recognized Corporal Tim Richey after he prevented a potential suicide in December. Police say the incident occurred the weekend before Christmas at a house along Watkins Street.

The department received the call for service, the woman on the other end of the line saying the victim had gone into the attic, shotgun in hand. Police say the case was a mental health crisis and that the male victim had said he was going to end his own life.

Richey, a 32-year law-enforcement veteran, was the first officer on the scene.

 “When I got there, the other person in the house, I heard a female screaming, ‘Don’t do this! Don’t do this!’ I ran into the house,” Richey said. “The female was very upset, said he went into the attic with a gun.”

Drawing his taser and using its integrated flashlight to guide him, Richey walked up the stairs to the attic and located the man.

“As I saw him sitting there, I looked and his hand wasn’t on the trigger but it was down toward the bottom of the gun,” he said. “I knew that if I deployed my taser, his reaction wouldn’t be to pull the trigger because his finger was on the trigger guard.”

Once he was close enough to the man, Richey fired his taser, stunning the victim and taking possession of the shotgun. Richey got the man to EMS for mental evaluation.

The man was later discharged from the hospital after receiving treatment.

Despite having taken actions that many would call heroic, Richey is nonchalant when recounting the event. After the incident, he did not even notify his chief that it had happened.

“I felt like I was doing my job cos that’s what the chief here hired us to do, is to make the town safe,” he said. “I did my report on it because I wanted him to know what went on during the weekend like I usually do. I really didn’t think no more about it.”

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