A Texas father engaged in a three-hour standoff with police in January 2015 in an attempt to prevent doctors from pulling the plug on his brain-dead son.
George Pickering II was charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for entering Tomball Regional Medical Center, in Houston,
with a gun and threatening to shoot employees. His son, George Pickering III, was in critical care after having a stroke, and doctors had reportedly ordered a process that slowly removed life support.
“They were moving too fast,” Pickering Sr. told KPRC-TV. “The hospital, the nurses, the doctors. … I knew if I had three or four hours that night that I would know whether George was brain-dead.”
Hospital staff was apparently concerned about the father’s behavior because he had been belligerent and heavily intoxicated earlier in the day.
Pickering Sr. said his decision to threaten hospital staff with a gun was his last option.
“At that point I had blinders on,” he said. “All I knew I just needed to have this time with George.”
According to Pickering Sr., his son squeezed his hand several times on command — letting him know that he wasn’t as far gone as hospital staff believed.
His other son managed to wrestle the gun away from him during the stand-off, and no shots were fired during the incident.
” … [T]his father was distraught over the car [his son] was receiving,” Gary Hammond, Tomball Police’s head of criminal investigations, told the Houston Chronicle after the incident. “He was wanting the best and for the doctors and nurses to pay more attention.”
Pickering Jr. later came out of a coma and recovered.
Pickering Sr. was arrested and charged for the incident, but the charges were later reduced and he was released in early December 2015.
“There was a law broken, but it was broken for all the right reasons,” Pickering Jr. told KPRC-TV. “I’m here now because of it. It was love, it was love.”