Sad, Sword-Waving Pirate Shot by Cops

Jonathan Martis of Omaha was shot by police on Thursday after calling them to his house. His mother says he had been feeling depressed and telling people he wanted to die. But this fact doesn't fully explain why he was dressed up as a pirate.

As the Omaha World-Herald explains, Martis typically liked to dress up as a pirate at parties ("he did not sport an eye patch but often used pirate-related makeup and carried a sword," the paper helpfully explains). Martis was not feeling very festive when he called the police, but was "apparently suicidal." When the cops arrived at his home, he greeted them decked out in his maroon-colored costume and brandishing his three-foot sword:

Officers commanded Martis to drop the sword, but he refused and advanced on them, said Officer Michael Pecha, a police spokesman.

An officer fired a Taser that appeared to have no effect on Martis. The costumed man continued to advance and was shot by an officer, Pecha said. He was struck in the torso.

Martis had told witnesses that he was going to harm the responding officers, Pecha said.

Fortunately, Martis did not succeed in killing anyone, including himself; he is now recovering in the hospital. His costume was last seen lying in a street beside some handcuffs. Martis's mother believes the costume's many layers might have rendered the taser gun ineffective. (Tip for Omaha cops: The best way to fight pirates is with lasers, not Tasers.)

From the sounds of it, Martis's life is rife with tragedy: brushes with the law, depression, and most recently the sadness brought upon by his girlfriend's miscarriage. And now he faces the potential loss of his freedom, as well his pirate costume. "When he gets better, I hope he goes to a mental health hospital and not jail," says his mom. Indeed.

[Omaha World-Herald, Omaha World-Herald]