CHICOPEE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- As the investigation continues into an officer-involved shooting in Chicopee, police are explaining the special training they go through to handle these difficult calls.

Mental health experts are explaining why it's always important to call for help if you see someone struggling.

Around 1 a.m. Wednesday, officers were called to this building for a welfare check on 55-year-old Dauda Handan.

Police said that one of his co-workers called saying Handan may be suicidal.

They're thankful the man called police and want people to remember to always reach out for help if they notice someone struggling.

"Sometimes, you encounter this person who wants to end their life. You can talk to them, sympathize, be human, and hopefully, you can get through to someone," said Chicopee Police Officer Michael Wilk.

Early Wednesday morning, police were called to 830 Chicopee Street for a welfare check. A caller said he was receiving disturbing messages from his co-worker - 55-year-old Dauda Handan - and he believed Handan was suicidal.

When police arrived, they allege Handan refused to put down the large kitchen knife he was holding in a threatening manner. They tased him, but that did not stop him.

One officer shot Handan twice, hitting him in the abdomen and arm. He was taken to Baystate Medical Center and is expected is expected to be okay.

"Your awareness is always up, but when you're going to a well-being check on someone that might be making statements to harm themselves or harm others, obviously you're a little bit more alert. You take your time a little bit more, you look around for things and try to gauge the call, try to gauge what you're walking into before you do," Wilk said.

The Center for Human Development (CHD) said the steps the co-worker took to notify police about his colleague are what they teach their employees too.

"I do think that we need to create a culture where we take care of each other and certainly from my vantage point, the workplace, it's really important that we do that and we pay attention to changes that are happening with folks and make sure that we ask them questions and ask them how they're doing and help direct them to other resources if we can't be ones for them," said CHD's vice president of human resources Carol Fitzgerald.

Chicopee Police told Western Mass News that the best tool they use during these difficult situations is communication.

"They do their best to try to talk to the person, try to de-escalate the person. Use the various tools that they have, pepper spray, taser, use the tools to try to stop that person in a non-lethal way, but the best tool we have is communication," Wilk added.

Handan is charged with two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Police and CHD could not stress enough the the slogan: if you see something, say something. Whether it's through personal interaction, text messages, or posts on social media, if you notice someone is struggling, always call for help.

Copyright 2019 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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