CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Hillsborough man’s unsuccessful suicide by cop

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) – Dramatic video captured by a neighbor reveals split-second decisions made by Hillsborough County deputies that prevented an officer-assisted suicide.

It was Tuesday, April 5, on Toby Lane in Thonotosassa. A neighbor’s cell phone captures 34-year-old Christopher Marshall’s encounter with sheriff’s deputies.  Marshall’s right hand stays hidden behind his back.  The deputy’s gun is drawn. Marshall’s  wife called 9-1-1 claiming he hit her and was after a gun. Neighbor Honey Hampton also called, Marshall, she said, wanted a suicide by cop.

“He told several people that he wanted to die,” Honey Hampton said.When he arrived on scene and observed Marshall, the video shows Deputy Ryan

When he arrived on scene and observed Marshall, the video shows Deputy Ryan Zarvo barked commands:
“Lay down!” Dep. Zarvo shouted.
“Is Brandi watching, she should,” yelled Marshall.
“Lay down!” ordered the deputy.
“Make sure Brandi is watching, is watching me,” screamed Marshall.
“Lay down!” the deputy ordered again.

Marshall was just a few yards away from the deputy, his right hand still behind his back. It would take only a second or two for the suspect to be on the deputy.  In reviewing this video detective Larry McKinnon notes to this point the deputy shows great restraint.

“Emotionally you’re deciding well what do I do, do I wait til he charges and then I shoot him?  Does he not have a weapon? Does he have a weapon? Is it suicide by cop?  What’s gonna happen to me after this is all over and the investigation?” McKinnon asked.

Within minutes, a second deputy is on the scene.  He is instructed to go less lethal.  He pulls out a taser. The video shows the second deputy also barking commands:

“Drop it now.  drop it now!” he ordered.
“I don’t have a knife,” Marshall yelled back.
“Drop it now,” the deputy ordered,
“I don’t have a,” Marshall screamed again.
“Show me your hands.drop it now,” commanded the deputy.
“Sir, I don’t have a knife,” Marshall bellowed.
“Drop it now,” the deputy said as he fired his taser.

Marshall fell screaming to the ground, rolling in pain. The two deputies were on him in a second, cuffing him and taking him into custody without any serious injuries to any of them.

“It’s what goes on every day in law enforcement in America,” McKinnnon added.

Deputies charged Christopher Marshall with domestic battery, resisting an officer without violence and more.

“He ended up getting Baker Acted which gives him the mental health that he needed,” detective McKinnnon explained.

This is Marshall’s 12th arrest in Hillsborough. Honey Hampton isn’t so sure her neighbor will get the help he needs.

“Unless you have money there ain’t no, nobody’s going to help him,” she said.


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