Suicide by cop attempt in Cambria fails

October 8, 2020

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

A reportedly suicidal Cambria man who was wearing a shirt with the handwritten words “COP KILLER” on it and who had access to weapons engaged in a standoff with San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s deputies on Monday evening that ended with the mentally ill individual being taken into custody.

Sheriff’s officials received a 911 call at about 6:20 p.m., reporting Adam Randall Helyar, 36, was inside his home in the 3200 block of Bradford Circle. Witnesses said Helyar was suicidal, covered in blood and making threats to harm law enforcement officers.

Helyar had also threatened his mother a few days earlier and had made statements to her about ambushing and killing law enforcement officers, according to deputies. Helyar was living at the same residence as his mother.

When deputies arrived at the home, they became aware the situation could potentially turn into a suicide-by-cop. Deputies observed Helyar throwing objects, including wooden chairs, down an embankment in the backyard.

Deputies established a perimeter around the home and began negotiating with Helyar. The Cambria man went in and out of his home during the negotiations.

At one point, Helyar refused commands to show his hands and began running toward the deputies. In response, deputies fired and struck Helyar with bean bag rounds.

Helyar then ran back inside his home, came back out and returned to where the deputies were standing. The Cambria man again refused commands to show his hands and began yelling obscenities at the deputies.

Deputies managed to surround and subdue Helyar.

One deputy accompanied Helyar as he was being transported in an ambulance to a hospital. While in the ambulance, Helyar made threats to kill the deputy and the deputy’s family members, according to the sheriff’s office.

Upon being medically cleared at the hospital, Helyar was booked in the SLO County Jail on charges of resisting a law enforcement officer and threatening a crime with the intent to terrorize. Helyar remains in jail, where he is receiving mental health care.

During the standoff, Helyar had access to multiple weapons nearby, including a pellet gun that resembled a handgun; two machetes; and a folding knife that was open, according to the sheriff’s office.


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