Armed man arrested after standoff at UN

NYPD emergency services personnel have arrested a man after a three-hour standoff outside the UN.
NYPD emergency services personnel have arrested a man after a three-hour standoff outside the UN.

The United Nations headquarters in New York City was locked down for several hours after a man was seen pacing outside one of its main gates with what police said appeared to be a shotgun.

The man, who appeared to be in his 60s, was taken into custody without incident about 1.30pm on Thursday, three hours after police said he was first spotted outside a security checkpoint on Manhattan's First Avenue.

During the standoff, the man held an object pointed at his own throat, possibly a firearm. The gates on the fence that rings the UN complex were closed, and the man didn't appear to be trying to breach the security perimeter.

Police said there was no danger to the public.

People inside UN headquarters were initially told to shelter in place, but were later allowed to move about the complex and come and go from other entrances.

The UN General Assembly and Security Council were both in session Thursday.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement: "We thank the NYPD for their quick response to the incident and we remain in contact with them as they conduct their investigation."

Dujarric said earlier there was "zero indication" the man was a current or former UN employee.

Details including criminal charges weren't immediately available.

Australian Associated Press