(Click “Like” to become a fan of the Palm Coast Observer.)
A search for a suicidal man, later identified as James Aaron Dorris, 29, ended with no injuries April 1.
Residents in the area of Forest Grove Drive and Fieldstone Lane, near Matanzas High School in Palm Coast, received a terrifying automated call at about 7:09 p.m.:
Remain inside your home. Make sure all doors are locked. Call 911 if you see a dark-skinned white male with blond hair, no shirt, and numerous tattoos, wearing gray jeans, in your neighborhood. He is armed and dangerous.
Thanks to the infrared indicators on Volusia County’s Air One helicopter, about two hours later the suspect was located and apprehended without any injuries to Dorris or to law enforcement, in a wooded area near 30 Fieldstone Lane.
“Without Air One, we’d still be here,” Undersheriff Rick Staly said, as he stood in front of about two dozen law enforcement vehicles in the darkened parking lot at Matanzas High School. “They spotted him.”
The incident began when the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office was alerted that a family disturbance at 18 Forest Grove led to a man taking a relative’s gun and threatening to shoot himself, according to officials.
Dorris then fled into the woods. Officers blocked off roads at multiple points south of Matanzas High School. Athletics Director Ken Seybold was asked if he could cancel the baseball game at the high school field, which he did, in the third inning. Seybold then had the stands cleared.
A family with a baby was ushered into the Mobile Command Center near the high school.
Special Weapons and Tactics, as well as a hostage negotiation team and Flagler County and Palm Coast paramedics were called to the scene, as well.
At about 8 p.m., team SWAT team entered the home where Dorris made the threats and confirmed that he was not in the home, the attic or the vehicles at the home.
About an hour later, Air One stopped circling the area, and the roads were opened. Then came the announcement that Dorris was in custody, under the Baker Act, meaning he was in a mental condition that led him to be considered a harm to himself or others.
As of about 10 p.m., law enforcement officers were still searching for the firearm in the woods.