PENN YAN — After what he called a “hectic few days,” the village police chief took time to look back on Wednesday’s standoff that ended with the suicide death of a local male.

“This was a very unfortunate incident,” Tom Dunham said. “We never want to see anyone die and always strive to protect all life. I believe the officers on scene, the dispatchers, the Penn Yan Volunteer Ambulance Corps and the medical staff at Soldiers & Sailors Hospital did everything they could.”

Village police and Yates County sheriff’s deputies responded to the East Elm Street apartment house just before 3:30 a.m. after getting a report of a person threatening to shoot people. The person barricaded himself in his bathroom with a shotgun.

There are four apartments in the building; the residents of the other apartments were evacuated. Dunham said one of the residents, who is on oxygen, was removed by police and put in an ambulance for the duration of the incident.

Residents of a neighboring house were evacuated as well, and officers went to eight other nearby homes and told the residents to stay inside. Police closed East Elm Street from Basin Street to Hamilton Street, and also shut down traffic on Benham Street.

Dunham said the male did not have a phone, so police set up a perimeter in the area and made several attempts to contact him with a megaphone. Two ambulances were on the scene throughout the incident.

“We never received any response,” he said.

Police set up a listening post in a neighboring apartment at approximately 5:30 a.m. Dunham said due to observations at the post, he decided to have his officers enter the apartment about 7 a.m.

Officers found the male with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

“Officers took immediate action to try to save the individual, and the ambulance crews were in the apartment in under a minute,” Dunham said. “The officers and ambulance crews did everything they could in a very difficult situation.”

The male was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead after more life-saving measures. Dunham declined to identify the deceased by name, but said the man was in his 30s.

“I believe the name is out there (on social media),” he said.

Dunham said officers were on the scene until close to 10 a.m.

“After the incident I personally notified the individual’s mother of what happened,” he said. “I know this family is hurting right now, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”

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