Trooper James Proctor
On November 27, 2008 at approximately 7:10 pm, a driver was stopped by the Fraser/Winter Park Police Department along Highway 40. The driver was suicidal and armed with a .45 caliber handgun, refusing to surrender. The suspect’s vehicle was parked in the middle of the eastbound lanes, facing westbound, surrounded by officer’s vehicles, as well. Trooper James Proctor responded to the scene at 7:32 pm.
For approximately three hours officers tried negotiating with the driver. Apologizing in advance, the driver kept saying he was going to kill himself while everyone watched, or commit “suicide by cop,” but that officers would get over it. Many times he was requested to drop the handgun in the backseat or to put on the ground outside the vehicle, but he refused to comply.
During the course of the negotiations it was learned the suspect was an experienced and competitive shooter, carrying a Colt “Combat Elite” .45. He was also drinking during the standoff, making the situation more difficult to control as he would be calm and polite to threatening with his speech and body language. The suspect would get in and out of his vehicle, still carrying the weapon by the barrel in his left hand.
When the suspect got out of his vehicle once again at approximately 10:15 pm, the signal was given and a Grand County deputy fired a bean bag at the suspect, striking him in the abdomen. Falling to his hands and knees, Trooper Proctor and surrounding officers ran toward him. The suspect fired his weapon at least four times, fortunately not hitting any of the responding officers but striking the rear driver side tire on his vehicle. During the struggle Trooper Proctor took the firearm out of the suspect’s hand and the officers placed the suspect into custody. The suspect was later found guilty of numerous counts against him receiving 32 years in prison.