Man Commits Suicide in Countryside Motel

Police spend 14 hours trying to talk him out of it

A 14-hour stand off ended in a suicide by gunshot on Sunday (Dec. 8) at the Countryside Motel on Route 9 in Philipstown. According to the Putnam County’s Sheriff’s Office and the New York State Police, Mark Reid 47, shot himself after police mounted a prolonged effort to have him surrender. Reid had barricaded himself in a motel room with a shotgun threatening to kill himself.

Police sealed off motel area while negotiating with an emotional disturbed man. (Photo by K.E. Foley)

Police sealed off motel area while negotiating with an emotionally disturbed man. (Photo by K.E. Foley)

Town of Poughkeepsie police had originally put out a bulletin asking for assistance in locating an armed emotionally disturbed man. A Sheriff’s deputy responded to the motel Saturday night at about 9:45 p.m. where Reid had apparently made his presence known. After ascertaining that Reid was there the deputy called for assistance.

Police sealed off the area, evacuated the motel and closed Route 9.

Crisis negotiators from both the Sheriff’s office and the State Police then worked through the night to persuade Reid to give himself up peacefully to no avail.  He shot himself at around noon on Sunday.

“While I am certainly grateful that neither any law enforcement officer nor member of the public was injured as a result of this incident, it is truly sad that this man was so emotionally distraught that he took his own life.  Our condolences go out to his family and friends,” said the Sheriff.

4 thoughts on “Man Commits Suicide in Countryside Motel

  1. We need more humane ways to help emotionally disturbed folks. Why such brute force? Our police need to be trained to respond less brutally to the poor, old, mentally impaired and vulnerable members of our society.

  2. I imagine that if I were so upset that I wanted to kill myself, I would respond to different people in different ways. Of all the types of folks who might show up to help me get through it, the police surrounding me and telling me to “give myself up” would be near the bottom of the list. I agree, there must be a better way.

    • James, you are completely right — they need better ways of handling this. Mark was my father so I know more about this story than the writing above. He was basically given two options: (1) Leave and go to a psych ward, or (2) End his life. There were no other options for him. My father had attempted this twice before and we got him help and he hated it. He basically felt like he was less than human in these places and that they really didn’t care about him. They just wanted the paycheck that came after. Out of all the times we got my father help, none of it seemed to help him. Unfortunately this became the result. R.I.P., dad.

  3. While being surrounded by police isn’t ideal, let’s be thankful this man chose to be alone in a motel room. What if he took the owners of the motel hostage? What if he waited and walked into his place of employment on Monday and took people with him? How about a mall? School? Movie theater?

    Let’s be realistic, this is the best way for the public. They attempted to talk this man out of suicide for hours before it came to a tragic end. Should they leave one officer with an armed man and hope for the best? The police presence is not just to attempt to talk suicidal people out of their desperate actions but to also protect the people in the surrounding areas who may be in danger should this person decide to harm others.

    Instead of criticizing the response in an emergency situation, let’s criticize the lack of mental health care available to everyone or the fact that it is nearly impossible to get help for someone you believe to be mentally ill for one reason or another.