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Standoff over with armed former officer at Flying J in St. Lucie Co. , sheriff's office says

Posted at 2:18 PM, Jun 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-12 17:08:49-04

ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. -- A standoff with a former Miami-Dade police officer at a truck stop in St. Lucie County has ended peacefully.

It began when a woman called the sheriff's office and said her boyfriend was threatening suicide.

Deputies found the armed man barricaded inside a vehicle at the Flying J near Kings Highway and Orange Avenue.

"He got into a fight with his girlfriend this morning. He came to St. Lucie County. He called her and said he was going to end it all," Sheriff Ken Mascara said.

The sheriff's office was concerned the man might want to commit 'suicide by cop.'

The suspect asked if the sheriff was at the scene and a sheriff's office negotiator told him he was.

"The negotiator told him I was there, he would have to come out with his hands up, which he did, and I went and secured him," Sheriff Mascara said.

The sheriff praised the negotiator for developing a rapport with the suspect. 

During the incident, the Denny's at the truck stop was evacuated and only trucks were given access to fill up with diesel fuel.

"We're happy the way it ended. We're just thankful," Sheriff Mascara said.

The sheriff said the man would be taken to a mental health facility to get the help he needs.