Waynesville, MO – Deputies in Pulaski County risked their lives to prevent a man’s suicide-by-cop attempt in January.
The recently-released bodycam footage from the responding officers showed Marcus Lavender clutching a rifle as he struggled with one of the deputies (video below).
The incident began when Detective Howard Brickner and Corporal Lynn Bays responded to a well-being check on Lavender.
Lavender answered his front door with a rifle in his hands.
According to the probable cause statement filed by the responding officers, Lavender came out of his house pointing his rifle at Det. Brickner.
“Fearing for his life,” Det. Brickner tried to pull the rifle away from Lavender and the struggle, captured on video, began.
“Lavender pulled the trigger discharging one shot” toward the deputy in the midst of the struggle, the report said. Nobody was hit.
“Shoot me. Shoot me. I wanna die,” Lavender repeated, over and over, as he struggled with Det. Brickner.
“Please kill me, please please please… Please take me out, I don’t want to live,” Lavender begged Detective Howard Brickner, as they fought for control of the rifle.
Deputies are heard trying to talk Lavender off the ledge throughout the fight.
“Let it go Marcus. Let it go,” they said.
Det. Bricker's partner, Corporal Lynn Bays, whose bodycam captured the incident, used his Taser to put an end to the struggle.
On the video, he can be heard yelling “Taser! Taser! Taser!” before deploying the less-lethal weapon on Lavender.
The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office provided Cpl. Bays’ bodycam footage to the Waynesville Daily Guide for publication .
Lavender was recently sentenced on two charges stemming from this incident.
He received four years in the Department of Corrections for Unlawful Use of a Weapon, and seven years for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm.
Those charges were reduced from five earlier charges he had pending, according to the Waynesville Daily Guide.
Suicide-by-cop attempts are not uncommon, and this scenario ended up with the best possible result, because neither the suspect nor the law enforcement officers were injured.