Turnpike and I-595 Shut Down: Suicidal Man Was Army Veteran Facing Deportation

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Update, 12:20 p.m.: According to the Davie police, the man at the center of today's incident is Fredy Gutierrez, 59, of Sunrise. He is an Army veteran who served in Vietnam and was facing deportation. At 8:15, police received a call of a suicidal individual stopped on the flyover between the turnpike and 595. He was armed with an assault rifle, but he never threatened anybody with it. He had a noose around his neck and the other end was attached to the ladder rack of his truck. When police arrived, he was hanging on edge of the bridge, straddling the wall of the flyover.

According to PIO Dale Engel, "We were able to obtain cell phone contact rather quickly and maintained it through the incident. The crisis negotiation team spoke with him and got him to surrender at about ten past 11 and he did without incident."

He was not charged but taken to the hospital for evaluation.

According to Engel: "Mr. Gutierrez was having some issues about getting services through the veterans administration. He had a pending deportation - has an appeal pending. This laid on him tremendously."

Engel believed Gutierrez was self-employed in the air conditioning business. He did not know what country Gutierrez was from, and he did not know how cell phone contact was established -- it was possible Gutierrez initiated the call.

He called the police response a "team effort" between Davie police and the Florida Highway Patrol and gave credit to the crisis negotiators as well as the support personnel.

Broward County court records indicate that a 59-year-old Fredy Gutierrez has been arrested for theft and for corruption/threat of a public servant in 2002, and manufacture of cannabis and possession of a controlled substance in 1992.

Update: 11:21: The man is being described as a veteran with "personal issues" and has reportedly surrendered. Some reports said that at one point, he drank a beer and smoked a cigarette while he had a noose around his neck that was attached to the van.

UPDATE 9:07 a.m.: NBC is reporting that a suicidal man is locked in a van. They have live video of the scene here. A SWAT team is reportedly en route.

Channel 4 reports: "Chopper 4 over the scene spotted the man near a white van with one leg over the guard rail on the southbound Turnpike exit ramp to eastbound I-595. He was holding a sign which read "HIPPOCRATE TRAITORS." Near the man, leaning against the guard rail, was what looked like a rifle with an American flag tied to it."

Original post: Heads up -- we're hearing multiple reports of traffic shut down at I-595 and the Turnpike. Apparently there is a man on an overpass causing a disturbance. One radio broadcast said there was an armed gunman. We are trying to confirm.

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