Police in Dublin are treating an incident which occurred over the weekend as an attempted “suicide by cop”.

The incident happened when a man in his twenties pointed what officers believed was a firearm at police during an intense stand off. The man proceeded to aim the weapon at officers and only surrendered the firearm after a police officer managed to talk him down.

Officers are treating the altercation as an attempted suicide by cop, a phenomenon which has increased in recent years in the United States where by a suicidal person engages in life threatening behaviour with armed forces to the degree it compels officers to respond with deadly force.

The altercation began when local police responded to an emergency call from a home in Blackrock south Co.Dublin at around 10.30pm last Saturday night. It is understood the man was out of control and arguing with his parents.

When an armed officer arrived at the home a stand off ensued which ended with the man rushing from the scene and pointed a weapon a police officers which turned out to be an air pistol. An armed detective then produced his weapon and convinced the man to surrender.

“This was knife edge stuff. What appeared to be a real gun was pointed at officers and the man initially refused to drop it as he was very upset,” a source told the Evening Herald in Dublin.

“It was a very difficult situation for the gardai at the scene but thankfully it was resolved peacefully and no one got hurt.

“There was a genuine concern among officers that the man was forcing them into a situation where they would have no option but to open fire, but this was avoided,” they added.

After the incident officers were able to calm the young man down and he was later questioned at a local police station. A police spokesperson told the Herald: “The man was questioned in relation to the incident and an investigation is ongoing. A file has been sent to the DPP.”