KIRKWOOD, Mo. – Kirkwood police responded to a reported mental health crisis involving in an armed individual at a local park Tuesday morning.
According to Officer Gary Baldrige, a spokesman for the Kirkwood Police Department, police received several 911 calls at 8:20 a.m. from patrons at Dee Koestering Park reporting a man driving recklessly in the park and making concerning statements to people.
The driver called Kirkwood police moments later and made additional concerning statements, Baldridge said. This person also mentioned he had two firearms.
Officers arrived at the park a short time later and located the person’s car in the far westerly area of the premises.
Baldridge said officers attempted to set up a perimeter around the vehicle, but then heard gunshots fired from the vehicle. It was later determined the shots were fired at the ground.
As police approached the vehicle, Kirkwood dispatchers received 911 calls from drivers on Interstate 270 reporting a man standing in the northbound lanes of the highway and waving a gun.
Law enforcement from multiple jurisdictions responded and shut down the interstate, Baldridge said. Police were eventually able to take the man into custody without incident.
The individual appeared to be experiencing what police described as a critical mental health crisis. He was taken to a local hospital for an evaluation and treatment, Baldridge said.
No one was injured during the ordeal.
The investigation continues as police and prosecutors determine if charges will be filed. The individual’s name will not be released, Baldridge said, due to the sensitive nature of the incident.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health or substance abuse crisis, or having suicidal thoughts or ideas, you can reach out to the free and confidential Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by calling or texting 988, or going online to 988lifeline.org. The previous Lifeline number of 800-273-8255 is still active.