Mobile, Ala. (WALA) – There is a heavy police presence in front of the Mobile Government Plaza in downtown Mobile as a result of continued shootings and clashes.
Police received a report just after 10 a.m. that a man in a silver Honda sedan had been shot inside a car in front of the plaza. When emergency responders arrived to help, a man inside the car held a gun to his own head and threatened to shoot himself, according to Mobile police Cpl. Katrina Frazier.
MPD’s SWAT units and negotiators responded, Frazier said.
Police said he was injured, though it was not clear whether he shot himself or someone else shot him. Police said the situation was under control but advised citizens to stay away from the area.
Authorities were seen using a loudspeaker to communicate with the person inside the vehicle.
James Barber, chief of staff for the Mobile mayor’s office, told FOX10 News just after 12:30 p.m. that mental health professionals in an armored vehicle nearby were able to communicate with the gunman. He described the man as “mostly uncooperative” until the morning.
Barber said first responding officers noticed the man’s blood inside the car and when he produced a gun, they backed off.
Mobile Police Chief Paul Prine said at 12:45 p.m. that authorities identified the man inside the car and confirmed he was injured. They have given him a phone for communication.
Prine said the armed man only threatened to harm himself and there was no threat to law enforcement. The chief said the police could “wait for him.”
He said, “Time is on our side at this point.”
Police turn people away from Government Plaza. Several law enforcement vehicles, including tactical units, blocked Government Street traffic. The Bankhead Tunnel is closed.
Mobile fire-rescue is also in place. FBI officials have also been monitoring the scene.
The front gate of Government Plaza near the scene has been closed. People were leaving the building from other exits.
Mobile Government Plaza houses the city and county courts and city and county governments. Operations inside the building were disrupted and elevators at the front of the glass-encased structure were shut down, people inside said.
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