Armed Man at United Nations Sought to Bring Medical Papers, Documents to Building, NYPD Says

The armed man seen outside of the United Nations building in New York City on Thursday wanted to deliver medical papers and documents to the building, police said.

During a press conference, New York Police Department (NYPD) Chief of Special Operations Harry J. Wedin said that while officers were attempting to speak with the man, he told officers that "he had some papers that he wanted to deliver to the UN."

"Based on statements he made, we knew early on that this did not appear to be terror related," Wedin said. "The dialogue went back and forth about how we might be able to accommodate his request and bring the incident to a peaceful conclusion."

Wedin continued, "Ultimately, members of the Emergency Services Unit took possession of the papers and were able to deliver them to the UN. As a result, the individual put down his shotgun and was taken into custody at approximately 1:40 p.m."

According to Wedin, the man kept telling officers that he wanted his documents looked at by someone in the UN headquarters and if they were able to help, he would surrender.

The NYPD did not release the identity of the suspect but said that he was originally from Florida and had no criminal history.

When asked about the details of the paperwork the man had in his possession, NYPD First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker said, "There were a number of documents," adding, "Nothing that told a story. There was no written note from him. So, nothing in that regard."

According to Tucker, the man wanted the documents delivered to the UN, and told police that if they could do that, "he would put the gun down and end it, which is exactly what happened."

When asked further about the contents of the medical papers and documents, Tucker said that the NYPD is looking into "some of the names and some of the notations in those notes so we can get some of those answers. We don't have those answers right now."

According to the NYPD, officers first received a 911 call regarding the man holding the gun outside of the UN by someone in the building about 10:40 a.m.

"Once on scene, the officers observed the man wearing a red jacket, blue jeans, white hair, holding what appeared to be a shotgun directly under his chin. The man also had a bag with him," Tucker said during a press conference.

After NYPD officers were able to get the documents the man had, he was arrested without incident and taken to a nearby hospital for further evaluation.

Prior to the arrest, dozens of photos and videos posted across social media showed the man surrounded by NYPD officers as he paced back and forth outside of the UN headquarters. The UN was initially placed on lockdown as the incident unfolded.

The NYPD said that charges against the man are currently pending.

United Nations
A man who was seen with a firearm outside of the United Nations headquarters on Thursday wanted to deliver papers to the building, according to police. Above, the entrance to the UN headquarters, in New York, on September 18, 2020. Timothy A. Clary/Getty