Man Holds Off Deputies With Toy Gun

Airport Road was closed Thursday night as deputies tried to reason with a disturbed man. A little after 7 O'clock an employee of the Dutch Bros on Airport at Rancho Road was approached by a man who was acting strangely.  He said he wanted to kill himself, and that he had a gun, and then walked to the other side of Airport Road. The barista called 9-1-1 and deputies found the man walking a few blocks north near Blue Jay Drive. They parked their patrol cars a safe distance away the man, but close enough to talk to him. He again said he wanted to die and put his hand in his coat pocket, then pulled out a gun and put the barrel to the side of his head. The road was then shut down and area residents were warned to stay inside. Deputies negotiated with the man for about 20 minutes as he moved the gun around from his head to inside his mouth to under his chin. He never pointed the gun at deputies or anything but himself. He was told he would be allowed to make a phone call if he put the gun down, and he eventually did. He walked toward a deputy who was holding a phone out and then struggled as he was taken into custody. The gun turned out to be a realistic-looking toy. The 26-year-old man is apparently a resident of a nearby adult group home, and has a history of mental health issues. He was allowed to make his promised phone call, and called the group home. He was then taken to Shasta Regional Medical Center for an evaluation.