CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island Rail Road station in Central Islip was shut down Saturday afternoon after police discovered a man with a gun in the middle of the tracks.
It started around 12:30 p.m., authorities said. For two hours, the man was surrounded by SWAT and other officers who kept their distance.
CBS2’s cameras were a half mile back behind yellow caution tape, zoomed in to capture a suspect who appeared distraught, often yelling into a phone with a red case he had in his left hand, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported.
In his right, was what looked like a gun — and for most of the time he held it to his temple, Carlin reported.
Neighbors in the surrounding area were told not to travel and to stay where they were.
“Surprised, real surprised — around here it’s quiet,” resident Rohan Holness said.
“They said the man was on the tracks with a gun or something and SWAT was on the steps, so we were waiting to see what was going on,” resident Robert Sansone said.
The man eventually took the gun away from his head and put the gun down, then picked it up again and waved it before immediately putting it down again to apparently prove to officers it was out of his hands.
He then kicked the gun far enough away for officers to move in and take him into custody.
A member of the SWAT team put the man over his shoulder to get him off the tracks and up onto the platform.
He was then placed in a stretcher and wheeled to an ambulance, where he was taken to an area hospital for mental evaluation.
Some Central Islip residents said they’re grateful to police for this takedown and are glad no one was injured.
“Nobody hurt, thank God it turned out good,” Holness said.
Suffolk Police did not identify the man and would not say if this incident was in any way connected to other crimes in the area.
The MTA said there was regularly-scheduled maintenance at the LIRR station this weekend, so the incident did not impact commuters.