• There was a large law enforcement presence near the Palm Coast Plantation house
  • The woman's husband and 16-year-old son eventually managed to escape
  • Deputies tried communicating with the woman, but she did not respond

A woman in Florida held her husband and son hostage, leading to an hours-long standoff with deputies. She later fatally shot herself.

First responders arrived at a home in Palm Coast Plantation on Sunday after receiving reports about an armed domestic incident. Deputies from the Flagler County Sheriff's Office, SWAT and Crisis Negotiation units soon joined the first responders as a standoff ensued between them and 43-year-old Julie Demers, ClickOrlando reported.

Demers held her husband and 16-year-old son at gunpoint while the law enforcement officers surrounded the house, which was inside a gated community, deputies said. The husband and son somehow managed to escape from the house.

Officers tried to communicate with Demers but she refused to reply.

"We tried to negotiate for about 7 hours," Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said. "She was refusing to talk to us at all from the very beginning. We sent in a robot with communications, we sent in remote telephones, we tried calling her cell phone and texting her and she refused to answer any of them. We had observations, so we knew that she was having a mental health episode and she was armed and based on what we could see, we knew that she was extremely dangerous to herself and potentially to neighbors and deputies that were there."

Deputies said the woman came out and walked toward the pool after they used tactical gas. Demers shot herself in front of the deputies after a seven-hour-long standoff. She was pulled out of the pool and taken to the hospital, however, she succumbed.

"It's extremely tough. You know, she shot herself in front of deputies. We did use less-lethal measures trying to prevent that, but that was not successful," Sheriff Staly said, News4Jax reported. "And, you know, I talked to my team, my SWAT team, and they're shaken up. This is not the outcome that we all pray for. We have a great record in this agency for de-escalating events like this, but it's much easier when people will communicate with you and in this case of seven hours…"

Demers was reportedly involved in a similar situation in Brevard County more than a year ago. The negotiations lasted for nine hours at the time.

If you have thoughts of suicide, confidential help is available for free at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call 1-800-273-8255. The line is available 24 hours, every day.

Representative image Credit: Pixabay / tevenet