Shots were fired Saturday night in New Bedford’s King Village East apartments as police conducted a wellness check on a suicidal man.

According to New Bedford Police, patrol units responded at 11 p.m. on July 2 to the Cottage Street apartment complex to check on the welfare of a tenant who had made suicidal threats. They say they made numerous but unsuccessful attempts to contact the man before management arrived and unlocked the door.

As police began to enter, a shot was fired that penetrated several walls, nearly striking officers. As they took cover, a second shot rang out, police said.

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Tenants in the surrounding apartments were evacuated and the Southeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (SEMLEC) special reaction team was called in. SEMLEC utilized a robot to enter the apartment, and it was discovered that the man was deceased from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The incident remains under investigation by New Bedford Police detectives and the Massachusetts State Police.

“I’m thankful that all the officers who responded to the call last night are safe,” New Bedford Police Chief Paul Oliveira said. “This incident is an example of the dangers police officers face on a regular basis as they are called up to navigate extremely volatile situations.”

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