TAMPA (FOX 13) - An unusual standoff between Tampa police and a man refusing hospitalization was broadcast live on Facebook.
On Monday, May 9, officers were called to the home of 30-year-old Adam Mayo on Jean Street. Mayo's mother contacted police after getting disturbing messages and pictures of a gun from her son, who she claimed has a mental disorder. She said he was off of his medication.
Rather than allowing police to 'Baker Act' him -- or involuntarily institutionalize him -- Mayo barricaded himself in his house, allegedly armed with a handgun and his iPhone. From there, he streamed the ordeal, in real time, on Facebook Live.
"I know there's 10 people watching this, so call 911 and say, 'Officers, what the [explicit] is wrong with you?'" Mayo said to the people watching his live broadcast.
Some of his Facebook friends commented on the videos, telling him to give up. Mayo even "liked" one of the posts.
Mayo shouted "you're live!" to SWAT members he could see gathering outside his home. His profanity-laced rant alerted officers to his Facebook Live stream. It gave them a tactical advantage, seeing inside Mayo's home and getting a better idea of his state of mind.
"We knew that there were some dogs inside and the dogs were barking, and we knew that he had a weapon. He was addressing us pretty directly," said Steve Hegarty, spokesperson for the Tampa Police Department. "Things started to go south when the officers noticed that there was a laser, a green laser that was trained on them."
Officers fired a canister of tear gas through one of Mayo's windows. He said on camera the sound startled him, causing him to fire two shots at officers.
No one was hurt.
After choking on tear gas and talking to an officer over the phone, Mayo was convinced to come out of the home, ending the four-hour standoff.
Mayor Bob Buckhorn was on scene, watching the live stream along with officers. Mayo apologized to him as he was taken away in handcuffs.
"He literally said to me, 'I want to apologize. I didn't mean for this to happen. I'm sorry,'" said Buckhorn.
Mayo's live stream cut off shortly after he got down on his knees, allowing officers to approach him.
Officials said live-streaming social media apps, like Facebook and Periscope, are no longer just for entertainment, but another crime-fighting tool helping them stay one step ahead.
Last year, in another high-profile incident, police in Lakeland were able to track down and arrest a woman who was driving drunk while streaming on Periscope.
Mayo, meanwhile, has not been criminally charged. He was taken to a mental health facility for evaluation.
"It all ended well. Sometimes it doesn't, but because we had access to that social media, it really made a difference," Buckhorn added.