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The Latest: Man in airport incident texted friend about plan

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on a man at the Orlando International Airport who was armed with fake gun in attempt at “suicide by cop” (all times local):

3:50 p.m.

Minutes before an ex-Marine carrying a fake gun went to Orlando International Airport, he texted a friend that he wanted to be killed by police officers.

In a recording of a 911 call released Wednesday by Orlando police, Michael Pettigrew’s friend tells a police dispatcher that the 26-year-old former Marine had texted him that he was headed to the airport.

When the dispatcher asks if Pettigrew has any mental health problems, the unidentified friend says he doesn’t know, but “I know he has had some other issues.”

No shots were fired and no one was hurt in the incident Tuesday night. Pettigrew was taken into police custody three hours after it began.

Part of the airport was temporarily evacuated and traffic going into the airport was halted for a short time.

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2 p.m.

A newly-released document shows that an ex-Marine who was armed with a fake gun during what officials called an attempt at “suicide by cop” at Orlando International Airport had been court martialed and discharged from the Marines for stabbing another soldier.

The document released Wednesday by the Orlando Police Department says 26-year-old Michael Pettigrew was found guilty of stabbing another Marine in the arm six years ago.

The original court-martial charge accused him of also stabbing the corporal in the face, but he pleaded guilty only to stabbing the victim’s arm with a knife.

His sentence was a discharge from the Marine base at Twentynine Palms, California and confinement for seven months.

No shots were fired and no one was hurt during Tuesday night’s episode at Orlando International Airport.

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10:45 a.m.

A mentally distressed former Marine who was armed with a fake gun during what officials called an attempt at “suicide by cop” at Orlando International Airport faces a charge of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.

An arrest affidavit released Wednesday also says 26-year-old Michael Wayne Pettigrew was forcibly committed for short-term mental health observation under what is commonly referred to as Florida’s “Baker Act.”

The affidavit says Pettigrew aimed the fake gun at officers Tuesday night, but no shots were fired and no one was hurt.

The incident ended peacefully almost three hours after it started when Pettigrew was taken into police custody.

Part of the airport was temporarily evacuated and traffic going into the airport was halted for a short time.

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10:25 a.m.

A mentally distressed former Marine who was armed with a fake gun during what officials called an attempt at “suicide by cop” at Orlando International Airport said he wanted to speak to the president.

An arrest affidavit released Wednesday also says that 26-year-old Michael Wayne Pettigrew yelled “kill me” at an officer during the almost three-hour standoff that ended peacefully when he was taken into police custody.

The sequence of events started Tuesday night when a man approached a cashier at a taxi company in the airport and showed her what looked like a gun.

The affidavit says Pettigrew gave his cellphone to the cashier and told her to call 911 because he wanted to bring the police and speak to the president.

The affidavit says Pettigrew aimed the fake gun at officers, but no shots were fired and no one was hurt.

Part of the airport was temporarily evacuated and traffic going into the airport was halted for a short time.

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5:30 a.m.

Authorities say a mentally distressed former Marine who was armed with a fake gun attempted a “suicide by cop” during a nearly three-hour standoff with police at the Orlando International Airport before peacefully surrendering.

No one was hurt and no shots were ever fired, but the Tuesday night standoff caused confusion and anxiety among travelers. Part of the airport was evacuated as hundreds of officers stormed the area, some with their guns drawn.

Authorities say 26-year-old Michael Wayne Pettigrew was in “mental distress” when police surrounded him at the rental car area of the airport. He pointed what looked like a real gun at officers and himself.

Orlando Police Chief John Mina says negotiators eventually got him to surrender.

Pettigrew was being held for a mental evaluation and faces aggravated assault charges.

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