Man who threatened ‘suicide by cop’ talked down by Westminster PD

By Jaimee Lynn Fletcher

Westminster police safely detained a man who fired a gun inside his home and threatened “suicide by cop” after an argument with his girlfriend, police said.

Police on Monday responded to a report of shots fired in the 13000 block of La Pat Street.

The caller told officers the man fired a gun, but nobody was injured, police said.

When officers arrived, the girlfriend ran out of the house and told police her boyfriend was alone inside the home.

She said he was under the influence of drugs and she believed he was suicidal, police said.

Westminster police used the Bearcat armored vehicle in an attempt to safely negotiate with the suspect, police said.

Det. Norma Vasquez, a trained crisis negotiator, also responded to the scene.

Police parked the Bearcat in front of the home, and Vasquez called the suspect to negotiate.

The man told officers he didn’t want to come out alive, and threatened “suicide by cop,” police said.

After about 30 minutes of talking, Vasquez was able to get the man to surrender to officers.

Police found multiple bullet holes in a wall and shell casings in the home, police said.

The suspect was taken into custody and evaluated by an Orange County Mental Health official.

Once cleared by OCMH, Matthew Chapman, 36, was booked at Orange County Jail under suspicion of negligent discharge of a firearm, being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Westminster Police Chief Kevin Baker said using the armored vehicle and tapping into the resources of a member of the department’s Crisis Negotiation Team ensured a safe resolution to an intense situation.

“All of the officers did an outstanding job of brining the incident to a conclusion without anyone being hurt,” Baker said.