Armed man at Orlando airport 'contained'

A mentally distressed former Marine who was armed with a fake gun attempted a "suicide by cop" during a almost three-hour standoff with police at the Orlando International Airport before peacefully surrendering, authorities said.

Court records show Pettigrew was denied bail Wednesday because of his mental health evaluation, but another bond hearing was scheduled for Thursday.

Mina said Tuesday night that responding officers quickly realized that Pettigrew was having a mental health crisis and chose not to shoot him even after he pointed his simulated firearm, created to look like a pistol, at an officer.

At a press conference Tuesday night, Orlando Police Department chief John Mina said officers confronted the suspect - identified as Michael Wayne Pettigrew, 26, a former Marine - who was holding a handgun. He pleaded guilty to stabbing the Marine in the arm, although the original charge accused him of also cutting the victim's face.

No one was hurt and no shots were ever fired, but the Tuesday night standoff caused confusion and anxiety among travelers. His sentence of a bad conduct discharge, confinement for seven months and reduction to pay grade E-1 was approved on January 6, 2012.

As police yelled at Pettigrew to drop the weapon he yelled back at officers to "kill me", the report said. The man requested that the employee call the police and that he wanted to "speak to the president", but after her phone didn't work, the suspect handed her his own and called 911, police said.

Spokeswoman Carolyn Fennell tells the Orlando Sentinel that law enforcement officers are on the scene Tuesday night.

Pettigrew pointed the gun at officers and somehow mocked them as he asked them to point the gun at him and shoot him, Mina said.

"I couldn't make out the words, but he was screaming really loud", she said.

Plaza said she didn't hear any gunshots or see anyone injured.

She said that when she saw officers with rifles she started to shake. "It didn't seem real".

Earlier this year, authorities say an Alaska man killed five people inside a baggage-claim area at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Santiago's attorney has said he is taking drugs to combat schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder.

The suspect allegedly opened his jacket to an airport employee at 7:30 p.m., revealing what appeared to be a handgun inside. "You couldn't have a better resolution".

No shots were fired and no one was hurt in the incident Tuesday night. "The airport continued to operate on the other side".

Orlando police tweeted Tuesday night "Gunman in custody".


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