A Columbia man who was making suicidal threats was subdued with a less-than-lethal shotgun by police Monday morning.
Police responded to a call of a man with a knife making suicidal threats just after 9 a.m. Monday at the Columbia Regency Trailer Court, 2701 E. Nifong Blvd., said Sgt. Timothy Moriarty of the Columbia Police Department in a release.
After the man refused to drop the knife, an officer shot the man in the leg with a less-than-lethal shotgun, Moriarty said. When the man continued to make threats and refused to drop the knife, the officer fired three more shots at the man, he said. Officers were then able to restrain the man, who was taken to a local hospital for treatment and observation.
Less-than-lethal shotguns are used by police to restrain subjects in dangerous situations. Capt. Tom Dresner said less-than-lethal guns use ammunition that is similar to a beanbag, with one ounce of lead shot in a fabric covering. Injuries sustained by such weapons are usually just substantial bruising, but depend on a person’s body type, the distance of the gun from the person and the person’s clothing, Dresner said.
The Columbia Police Department has used the weapons seven times since obtaining them in 1999, and this is the first time it had been used this year, he said. The department has about 16 patrol officers trained to use the weapon, Dresner said.