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Man with rifle detained at Westminster police station

August 18, 2011 |  3:17 pm

West A 22-year-old man who turned up at the Westminster Police Department dressed in military fatigues and carrying a rifle had hoped to engage police in a shootout, authorities said Thursday.

Norris Phuoc Nguyen of Westminster was detained Tuesday and is undergoing a medical evaluation, police said.

He was spotted Tuesday night on 13th Street near the police station at 8200 Westminster Blvd.,  said Cpl. Van Woodson, a spokesman for the department.

Police received a report that Nguyen was armed and a jailer monitoring surveillance cameras saw Nguyen trying to open the front door to the lobby, Woodson said.

But Nguyen could not enter because the station’s doors were locked. The jailer alerted patrol officers, who approached Nguyen and were eventually able to convince him to put down his weapon, Woodson said.

Nguyen told officers he had wanted “to provoke officers into a suicide-by-cop scenario,” Woodson said. “Once he saw the officers he changed his mind.”

No one was injured in the incident, authorities said.

Woodson said he was glad the episode did not occur a couple of hours earlier when “the lobby was crowded” and when Nguyen would have had access to the station.

Woodson said Nguyen was taken to a local hospital for evaluation.

“We hope he gets the help that he needs and doesn’t try this again,” Woodson said.


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-- Ann M. Simmons

Image: Map shows where a man with a rifle arrived at the Westminster Police Department. Source: Google Maps