While Army 1st Sgt. Matthew Corrigan slept inside his Northwest Washington home, Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) response teams were gathering outside. Dozens of SWAT and explosive-ordnance-disposal officers spent hours preparing a full-scale invasion of the residence in the middle of the snowstorm of the century. It was not an operation to protect the public from a terrorist or to stop a crime in progress. It was to rouse a sleeping man over a secondhand report that he might have an unregistered gun.
It all started a bit before midnight on Feb. 2, 2010. Sgt. Corrigan had called the National Veterans Crisis Hotline for advice on coping with nightmares from his year in Iraq hunting for improvised explosive devices. Without his permission, he says, the hotline operator dialed 911 and reported Sgt. Corrigan “has a gun and wants to kill himself.” The drill sergeant told me he said nothing of the kind and his weapons were stowed away to avoid theft.
Around 1 a.m., the police knocked on the door of Tammie Sommons, Sgt. Corrigan’s upstairs neighbor in the row house. Ms. Sommons had lived there since 2008 with her three roommates and, in that time, had become a close friend of Sgt. Corrigan‘s. She often walked his dog, Matrix. “One officer told me that Matt called a suicide hotline and was about to kill himself,” she told me in an interview. “I said that was impossible, he wasn’t that kind of guy. I told the police I see him every day and would know if he was suicidal.”
MPD officers told Ms. Sommons that someone had reported the smell of gas coming from Sgt. Corrigan’s apartment. “I told them that there was no gas in his apartment – it was all electric,” she recalled.
Read more at washingtontimes.com
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