“We’re having to evacuate the building,” officers said over the radio.
Oklahoma City Police responded to Riversport OKC Sunday afternoon. When they arrived they said they saw James Patrick Keenan Jr., 34, holding a gun to his neck.
Court records show in 2012, the man changed his name from James Patrick Rude to James Patrick Keenan Jr.
According to Keenan Jr.’s Twitter account, he served in the US Army from 2005 -2009.
On Sunday, police said Keenan also had a phone in his hand.
“Your suspect is actually calling on the VA Crisis Line,” said a dispatcher over the radio.
For an intense hour, hotline workers and intervention officers talked to him about his past and “James’ PTSD from military service.”
Officers note he was “rocking back and forth, manic, and when he spoke, his voice sounded frustrated and threatening.”
An Oklahoma Veteran’s Affairs psychologist told News 4 PTSD is powerful.
“Many times they have a symptom where they’re reliving their trauma,” said Jerri Turner. “4th of July is approaching and so certain sites and certain sounds can definitely trigger a strong emotional response.”
Eventually, Keenan surrendered and was taken to a hospital to be evaluated. After he was cleared, he was booked into the Oklahoma County Detention Center on complaints of Threatening to use an incendiary device or explosive and threatening to perform an act of violence.
“The positive is that nobody got hurt,” said Msgt. Gary Knight with the OKC Police Dept.
Officers said when they took Kennan’s gun, they realized it was a “single shot Lifecard 22 WMR pistol.” The officer writes “I also saw the bullet in the chamber to be plastic.” He booked the firearm and imitation ammunition into the police property room.
Those at the Oklahoma VA’s office are also celebrating because the suspect called 988.
“It makes me feel like it was a success because the number got to him in some way or fashion. Had he not known that number, I don’t know how the situation could’ve ended up,” said David Onzahawah, a peer specialist. “You’re not alone in this struggle, there are other veterans that are here to help you.”
“Wherever he goes from here, he’ll be hearing from us as well, trying to get him in to receive those mental health services,” said Alisha Fry, a suicide prevention coordinator. “So that he can commit to his own recovery and doesn’t have to feel so alone.”
Please remember if you are in a mental health crisis and need someone to talk to, dial 988.