Kennewick police apprehend trespasser threatening suicide

Upon responding to a routine eviction, Kennewick police officers negotiated with a man threatening self-harm.
Kennewick Police
Kennewick Police are seen at the scene of a crime on November 27, 2020 near W 4th Pl. and S Buchanan St.(Photo by Shelby Schumacher/KAPP-KVEW)

KENNEWICK, Wash. — Kennewick Police took a 59-year-old man into custody after threatening suicide in response to an eviction claim.

A routine procedure took a turn on Friday morning, according to Kennewick Police Sgt. Jason Kiel. Police were called to remove the trespasser from the premises after being called by the homeowner, the suspect’s cousin.

The man, a convicted felon with prior warrants including a DUI charge, was unresponsive when police announced themselves at the front door. Officers then proceeded to the back of the building and announced themselves at a door left ajar. Officers found the man with a gun to his head in a bedroom and began negotiations.

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According to Sgt. Kiel, one of the responding officers already knew the man in question. This helped alleviate some of the pressure of the situation. The officer eventually convinced the man to lower his illegal firearm and submit to the police.

Police brought the man to the Benton County jail in Kennewick, where he’ll be booked and processed. Officials say that alcohol seemed to be a factor in the suspect’s impaired judgment.

Sgt. Kiel was specifically aware of the difficulties posed by the holiday season for those in trying circumstances. He noted the harsh impact that this time of year can have on mental health and highlighted the wealth of resources in place for individuals submitting to suicidal tendencies. While that plays a factor in many cases around this time of year, the man’s distress was rooted in his eviction — Not the time of year.

“Our officers just do a really good job trying to negotiate,” Sgt. Kiel said. “It’s a difficult circumstance because depression and mental health and all of those things are a very complicated issue.”

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This is a developing story that will be updated as new information is released to the public.

UPDATE at 3:38 p.m. PST by Kennewick Police via Facebook: Suspect has been identified as Kelvin Kennedy. He was booked for Trespass (1st Degree), Warrants, and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm.