THOMASTON, Maine — A man was critically injured Wednesday night after he shot himself in front of a sheriff’s deputy while in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart.

Knox County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Tim Carroll said that the man had called the Knox County Regional Communications Center shortly after 10 p.m. Wednesday to report that he was considering suicide.

Sgt. Patrick Polky responded and as he got out of his cruiser to approach the man, the man shot himself in the chest, Carroll said.

Polky radioed for backup and spoke with the man, asking him to show that he no longer was holding the weapon. The man, who police are not identifying but is not from the local area, fell out of the car and onto the pavement.

Polky then began to provide first aid to the man until emergency medical services personnel arrived. The man was then taken to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport.

The car was parked away from the store, which is open until midnight.

To reach a suicide prevention hot line, call 888-568-1112 or 800-273-TALK (8255), or visit