Axe man in eight-hour standoff

After nearly eight hours of drama, the suicidal, axe-wielding man who threatened to jump off a bridge and hang himself gave up in anticlimactic fashion and was taken into police custody.

The man, said to be in his 40s, threatened to kill himself on Norrbro, the bridge between the royal palace and Gustaf Adolfs torg in Stockholm, starting at 3pm on Tuesday.

He had tied a noose around his throat and had fastened it to the bridge. He threatened to jump before giving up eight hours later at 11pm.

“He gave up and turned himself into police. Everything went calmly,” said Towe Hägg, police spokeswoman.

The man was taken in for psychiatric evaluation as required by law.

He sat on the bridge railing and on the sidewalk. On a few occasions he stood up and talked with police. With others he made violent gestures with his axe. He even smashed in a taxi’s window and punctured a rescue vehicle’s tire.

The suicidal man decided that the evening chill was too much, putting on mittens and a jacket. Later in the day, he took off the rope from his neck to put on another shirt then put the rope back on.

All traffic was closed off on Norrbro, Fredsgatan and on Gustaf Adolfs Torg backing up traffic all afternoon.

Hägg said on Wednesday the man was not an asylum seeker as has been reported, and said she was not sure from where the man came.