Suspect Shoots Self While Handcuffed

April 12 2005, 2:41 PM

This is quite a feat. A handcuffed man, sitting in the back of a patrol car in Phillips County, Colorado, managed to shoot himself in the face with a gun.

The incident began after the man walked away from a Yuma County hospital where he had been taken for detox. The man allegedly stole some hospital equipment and a car when he left the facility about 4:30 a.m., said Urbach. A few hours later, he said, police in Holyoke received a tip that the man was visiting some friends in town. About 8:15 a.m. Sunday, an officer picked up the man without incident, handcuffing his hands behind his back and placing him in the back of a patrol car. The officer drove the few blocks to the Phillips County Sheriff's Office and was parking when he heard a gunshot from the back of the car, Urbach said. When the officer turned around, he saw that the man had shot himself in the face.

How many questions can you think of?

  • Why wasn't he patted down before being put in the car?
  • How does a man whose hands are handcuffed behind him get his hands on a gun and shoot it without going through contortions that should be noticeable to the officer driving the patrol car.
  • Was it the arrested man's gun or was a gun left lying on the back seat of the car?
  • Did the man really shoot himself or did someone else shoot him by accident and make up this story as a coverup?

The arrested man is alive and in the hospital. There's got to be more to this story. Stay tuned.