Local News

Garner man warned of grenade before committing suicide

Posted October 1, 2012
Updated October 3, 2012

— A 24-year-old Garner man shot and killed himself Sunday during a three-hour standoff with Harnett County authorities. Before pulling the trigger, he told them there was a grenade inside his Garner apartment, prompting dozens of evacuations.

The chain of events began about 9:19 a.m. when the Harnett County E-911 Center received reports of an impaired driver in a Ford Focus on Old Coats Road. About 10 minutes later, a Lillington police officer spotted the car parked at an abandoned home.

When the officer approached the car, Ryan James Gibson, of 1211 Tumbling Stone Way, showed a gun and threatened to kill himself, according to the Harnett County Sheriff's Office. Negotiators tried for three hours to get Gibson to surrender. He refused and warned them about a grenade in his apartment before committing suicide.

Garner police evacuated 36 apartments in three buildings about 11:30 a.m. at Abberly Place Apartment Homes, 500 Abberly Crest Blvd.

A robot operated by State Bureau of Investigation agents entered a ground apartment, and a three-hour search did not turn up anything suspicious, police said.

Records show Gibson was arrested in February 2010 and charged with making a false report to a police station. No other information was released.


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  • driverkid3 Oct 2, 2012

    Back in the 70's when I lived in Raleigh, I did try this. Thanks to a neighbor and a RPD detective, I did not succeed. But at the time, I wanted to die so bad I could almost taste it; I had a lot of bad things going on with no family support. I can understand all too well how this young man felt, it's not good, it's not funny, and it's not political. I will ALWAYS be grateful to this Detective for being there for me, also the neighbor.

  • go po-po Oct 1, 2012

    It is so amazing to me to read the really smart people in here. This young life is gone and the know it all people in here must start blaming outside sources instead of facing the problem head on. Blame his parents, blame the environment, blame the police. Is it possible for anybody to just step back and say, "I dont understand why he would do this", Rest in peace young man. If there is anybody in your life that could have helped you but didnt, I apologize to you on their behalf.

  • wtnursingstdnt Oct 1, 2012

    I agree, more and more violence is occurring in the world. I personally knew him, was in Musicals with him in high school and that is how I will remember Ryan, happy and loved to sing.. you are absolutely right he had friends and family who loved him--no matter when was done, there was loss of life, so it's sad any way you look at it.

  • Blue Devil 2 Oct 1, 2012

    This young man looks like he has a lot of anger or rage in him. He looks like an unhappy soul. There are alot of people who are lost souls and have no other option, but to kill themselves. What a sad world we live in.

  • outhousecat Oct 1, 2012

    This is a very sad article. I know the police did their best to talk this young man down. Hopefully they had someone on their team who is experienced with mental illness and depression.

    More and more young people are killing themselves. We need to look at our society and ask why.

    Prayers to this kid's family and friends.

  • SFSOLDIER Oct 1, 2012

    A troubled soul. Sad.

  • Obamacare has risen Oct 1, 2012

    Yes, a sad situation. Although I do think that situations like this will increase as people grow more desperate and feel disenfranchised. People are losing hope across all socioeconomic groups. We have grown use to settling for ineffective leadership. Change is definitely needed.

    Are you seriously blaming this on Obama? Good grief.

  • macy Oct 1, 2012

    This breaks my heart.....he could have been any of our children. If your child has never been in any sort of trouble you are one of the lucky few. You should be ashamed of yourselves for making negative comments about this young man. You have no idea what he was thinking or going through.

  • Malaki Oct 1, 2012

    Thoughts and prayers for his family.

  • Scubagirl Oct 1, 2012

    Very sad when someone feels that this is the only solution. May he rest in peace now.
    Condolences to those he left behind.