Report of a gun leads to the discovery of a suicide victim

Armed police arrive to the scene of a heavy law enforcement presence on Pearl Street in Johnstown Friday. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — A man killed himself with a gun inside a Pearl Street residence Friday morning, culminating a morning that saw numerous police officers scrambled halfway across the city pursuing a report of a person toting a long gun.

Johnstown Police Chief David Gilbo said an investigation into the incident continues.

The city Police Department issued a news release indicating members of the Patrol Division responded to an initial report at 4:37 a.m. Friday of a male “with a long gun in a vehicle” behind a local business on North Perry Street. Upon arrival, officers didn’t find the vehicle or the person.

The release said patrol units then began to search for the vehicle and at 4:45 a.m., the vehicle was located in the driveway of a Pearl Street residence. At that time, police said there was no confirmation anyone was inside the residence.

Members of the Johnstown Police Department’s Detective Division were notified of a “possible barricade situation,” the release said. The Glove Cities Emergency Response Team was called to the scene. Team members and Johnstown detectives made multiple attempts using cell phones and a loud speaker to confirm if a subject was in the residence and to make contact with him.

Repeated attempts to contact the man continued until 7:45 a.m. when a decision was made to manually breach the residence’s front door.

The release said the Glove Cities Emergency Response Team placed a police robot inside the residence.

Efforts to communicate with anyone inside the home continued until 8:21 a.m., when team members confirmed a deceased male subject. The man was located in the attic of the residence with a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound, the release said. The name of the deceased or the address he was found at are not being made public.

“The investigation into this incident is ongoing at this time and no further information is being released,” the release said.

Authorities sent out a robocall in Johnstown Friday morning warning residents to stay inside, although “there was no danger,” the message said. Police responded to a scene in which the temperature was in single digits at dawn. Pearl Street was cordoned off and police huddled at Route 29 and Pearl Street as they strategized on how to deal with the situation.

The situation was aided by the fact Greater Johnstown School District students were off Friday on the last day of their winter break. Activity was limited on normally busy Pearl Street, which leads to Johnstown High School.

The release said the Johnstown Police Department was assisted by members of the Gloversville Police Department’s Detective Division, Glove Cities Emergency Response Team, Fulton County Coroner Margaret Luck, and the Fulton County Emergency Management Office.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected]

By Kerry Minor

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