VICCO – A potentially fiery suicide attempt was thwarted Thursday by three quick-thinking deputies, and now the man who was allegedly trying to kill himself is facing serious charges.
Perry County deputies Elmer Fugate and Shawn White responded to the residence of 47-year-old Johnny L. Williams in Vicco just before 1 p.m. after a report was received stating that Williams had purchased a gallon of gasoline at a nearby business. According to Fugate, Williams, whom he described as a local “fire bug,” had threatened suicide as he purchased the fuel, and said he would “go down in a blaze of glory.”
As the deputies arrived on scene, Williams locked himself inside the home. Chief Deputy Tony Eversole later arrived, just before Williams was alleged to have exited the residence with a golf club, swinging it at the deputies and asking them to open fire on him.
“He kept on repeatedly asking us to shoot him in the head,” Fugate said. “He said he wanted to die.”
Eversole was eventually able to calm Williams and convince him to drop the golf club, Fugate continued. That was when Williams went back in the house and emerged with the gasoline. He was also holding a lit cigarette, Fugate said, which he placed on a bannister before dousing himself in the gas.
“He turned the gas up over his head,” Fugate said, adding that when the cigarette didn’t ignite the fumes, the three deputies rushed Williams, detained him and took him inside where they worked to wash the gasoline off of him.
Fugate said it was fortunate that the gas didn’t ignite, which also could have set the deputies on fire as they were forced to physically retrain him. Fortunately, he added, the incident ended with no injuries.
Williams was eventually transported to the Kentucky River Regional Jail in Hazard, where he was charged with three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment on a police officer, along with one count of alcohol intoxication.