'You are not alone': Woman spreads message of hope after SWAT situation ends in tragedy

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — You are not alone -- that is the message being posted around Charlotte after a woman died by suicide after a SWAT situation unfolded Friday night in the parking deck of Atrium Health-Carolinas Medical Center in Dilworth.

Police said a woman died by suicide after a SWAT situation unfolded Friday night in the parking deck of Atrium Health-Carolinas Medical center in Dilworth.

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The woman who had a handgun barricaded herself in a car and would not come out, officials said.

Officers said they tried for more than 3 1/2 hours to get the woman out safely, but a shot was fired inside the car and the woman died by suicide.

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Authorities said that at about 10:30 p.m., the SWAT situation was over.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said the situation was contained in the Medical Center Plaza visitor's parking deck at 1001 Blythe Blvd.

According to CMPD, it was not an active shooter situation and there was no threat to the public. No one else was in the car, police said.

There was confusion among hospital staff, however, because the hospital made an announcement that there was an active shooter, which was later cleared.

Hospital officials said the incident started away from the hospital and ended up in the Medical Center Plaza parking deck.

Authorities said the investigation includes what led up to the person driving to the hospital.

Police said they are helping her family and checking on the officers who worked on the scene.


"There was a police situation that started off-campus that ended up in our (Medical Center Plaza)  parking area. The CMPD quickly contained it and is addressing the issue. Access to the parking deck will remain restricted until CMPD clears the scene."

After the hours long SWAT situation ended, many in the community said they are coming forward to provide support for those in need and to help prevent future tragedies.

They said they are hoping that healing through love will let people know that they are not alone.

As part of National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, a small group of non-profits and wellness leaders got together Saturday to showcase ways people can heal from mental health challenges through a natural and holistic approach.

Leaders told Channel 9 this includes increased love, communication, and sharing energies among each other. Experts said many times the troubling signs of mental health are ignored or overlooked.

"A lot of times, we just want to be heard and the hurt gets buried and buried and then something like this happens," Found of Place of Lok Queen Azima Lok said. "It's a sad, sad thing because life is precious."

Fonda Bryant said she was at the lowest point of her life and she got the help she needed most, but she said others are not as fortunate.

"I want every single person in Charlotte to realize this could happen to any one of us," Bryant said. "No one should have to feel that pain when suicide is the most preventable death if people would get educated.

Bryant said now, she is making it her mission to make a difference by putting inspirational signs in parking garages all across Charlotte.

"I truly believe if that young lady had seen that sign that says 'You're not alone' automatically she would have said 'Wait a minute someone understands how I feel,'" Bryant said. "As a suicide survivor, I know in that moment we feel like no one cares and no one understands. Words can hurt, but words can heal and help someone."

Bryant said she hopes to get major influencers like the Hornets and Panthers involved in sharing the message of suicide awareness to reach an even larger audience.

No further information has been released. The investigation is ongoing.

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