Untreated Mentally Ill Killed by Law Enforcement 2012-2/2013
As the mental health system continues to refuse to treat the most seriously ill, they become a police responsibility. It is often a dangerous responsibility because individuals who refuse treatment may not be taken into custody or to a hospital until after they become danger to self or others. Rather than prevent violence the law requires it. This means officers are often walking into a dangerous situation. Most of the time these situations resolve safely. Sometimes officers are hurt or killed. Other times, it is the person with mental illness who is hurt or killed. Many mental health advocates blame police for these incidents. We believe the fault is within the mental health system. Almost all these individuals were known to be mentally ill but were not receiving treatment. Following are some stories of police walking into dangerous situations involving people with untreated mental illness that escalated and resulted in the person with mental illness losing their life. They are culled from a database maintained by the Treatment Advocacy Center.
Denver, Denver, CO
On November 10, 2012, 38-year-old Jeffrey Albert Musick attacked an Auraria campus officer with a sword was fatally shot by officers. Musick, who had a history of mental illness, had been at two different psychiatric facilities shortly before the incident.
Bay Minette, Baldwin, AL
On November 26, 2012, 53-year-old Michael Jansen was fatally shot by police at his home during a shootout with three deputies. Also killed was 47-year-old Deputy Scott Ward. Sgt. Curtis Summerlin was shot in the leg. Jansen’s mother called 911 because she was concerned about her son’s well-being. Jansen had a history of mental illness. His mother had petitioned in 2009 and twice in 2010 to have her son committed to a state hospital.
Birmingham News, 11/26/12
Oxnard, Ventura, CA
On August 14, 2012, Oxnard Police responded to a call that 36-year-old Michael Mahoney, diagnosed with schizophrenia, was standing in the middle of a street with a gun to his head. Police tried to resolve the situation but opened fire when Mahoney challenged them. KEYT, 12/6/12; Bloomberg News, 12/28/12
San Bernardino, San Bernardino, CA
On December 8, 2012, Police were called to a Cal State San Bernardino on-campus dorm after a report of a disturbance involving Bartholomew Williams, a grad student,in the common area. Williams became violent and attacked one of the responding officers. He was then fatally shot by police. Williams was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and not taking his medication. KTLA News, 12/10/12; Los Angeles Times, 12/11/12
Corpus Christi, Nueces, TX
On December 9, 2012, 56-year-old Daniel Scott, who had a history of mental illness, called 911 and said he was armed with a weapon and had barricaded himself inside his house. He was fatally shot by police after a standoff.
KRIS TV, 12/10/12
Anaheim, Orange, CA
On January 19, 2012, 29-year-old Roscoe Cambridge approached a police sergeant in his car wielding a large knife and carrying a Bible. Cambridge’s family said he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia but refused to take medication. He was fatally shot by a police officer who felt threatened. ABClocal.go.com/KABC, 1/20/12; Orange County Register, 12/14/12
Tulsa, Tulsa, OK
On April 3, 2012, 45-year-old Bobby Dale Sutton, who had a history of mental illness, charged at police with a knife inside his apartment. He was fatally shot by police. Tulsa World, 4/4/12
Portsmouth, Newport, RI
On February 3, 2012, 25-year-old Craig J. Raposa became combative when police tried to convince him to go to a hospital for a psychological evaluation. He died during the struggle with Portsmouth police, in which pepper spray was used. Authorities said Raposa HeraldNews.com, 2/8/12; Patch.com, 4/13/12, 1/10/13
Clovis, Fresno, CA
On April 13, 2012, 40-year-old Christopher Machado fatally shot his mother, 73-year-old Edith Machado, and a neighbor, 60-year-old Vernon Eugene Lindsay, before he was fatally shot by police. Machado was mentally ill and was acting strangely in the hours before the shootings. Fresno Bee, 4/13/12
Keyes, Stanislaus, CA
On April 16, 2012, Stanislaus County sheriff’s deputy responded to reports of a family fight involving 32-year-old Jorge Ramirez and fatally shot him. His aunt said he was prescribed medication, which he took for a while and which seemed to help. But then he stopped. Modesto Bee, 4/17/12
Panama City, Bay, FL
On April 22, 2012, Clifton McKinney, a mentally ill man armed with a machete was shot as he charged at officers. According to reports detailing the police deparmtment’s numerous prior contacts with McKinney, he had a history of mental illness and violence toward police. News Herald, 4/25/12
Mt. Carmel, Sullivan, TN
On May 12, 2012, 47-year-old Ernest France pointed a shotgun at his wife and threatened to kill her. Kingsport Police tried to negotiate a safe surrender with France for more than a half hour before he aimed a gun at them and they shot back. France was bipolar disorder and wasn’t on his medication at the time. TriCities, 5/14/12; Times News, 11/28/12
Manhattan, New York, NY
On January 3, 2013, 37-year-old Peter Jourdan opened fire on two plainclothes police officers who shot back and killed him. Jourdan’s family said that despite numerous trips to jails and hospitals, Jourdan diagnosed with schizophrenia, had been routinely sent back to the streets instead of taken someplace for treatment. New York Daily News, 1/5/13; NewYork.CBSLocal.com, 1/6/13; Morning Call, 1/15/13
Tamarac, Broward, FL
On January 9, 2013, 60-year-old Linda Sue Davis, diagnosed with bipolar disorder, fatally shot her neighbor, 75-year-old Jolene Shamburg, in their 55-and-over community and was then fatally shot by police when she refused to comply with a Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputy’s orders to drop the weapon. Davis’ family said she had been involuntarily hospitalized for mental health evaluations three times since 2009. Police had visited her home 79 times since 2008 and flagged her as a mentally ill person with a warning to “approach with extreme caution.” Tamarac Talk, 1/10/13; Miami Herald, 1/10/13; Sun-Sentinial.com, 2/3/13
Charlotte, Mecklenburg, NC
On January 6, 2012, 55-year-old Spencer Mims III became angry and erratic at his father who called police. Responding officers found the younger Mims holding the boxcutter to his throat. He refused orders to drop the weapon. Officers shot him when he advanced toward them. Charlotte Observer, 1/30/13
Copperas Cove, Coryell, TX
On February 2, 2013, police responded to a domestic disturbance call and found 24-year-old Kristofer Gagliardi wielding a knife which he had used to cut his wrists. Gagliardi’s was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and his mother said he told the officer to “go ahead and shoot me” and used a racial slur. He did not drop his knife at which point the officer opened fire. KWTX, 2/5/13
Dandridge, Jefferson, TN
In December 2012, 41-year-old Robert Lynn Human, Jr. called 911 and asked to be taken to a mental hospital. When deputies arrived at his home, Human charged the officers with a gun in each hand. Officers fired, killing Human on the scene. Human’s sister said Human, diagnosed with bipolar disorder, went from hospital to hospital looking for help. She said Human had stopped taking his medication and the day after he was killed he had another appointment scheduled at a mental health facility. The appointment had taken six months to set up. 6 News, 2/18/13
Rosemead, Los Angeles, CA
On January 3, 2012, 40-year-old Jazmyne Ha Eng became involved at an incident in a treatment facility and when police arrived she attacked a deputy with a hammer and was fatally shot by a sheriff’s deputy. Eng had a long history of mental illness. Staff members believed she was off her medication at the time. Pasadena Star-News, 1/5/12; SGV Tribune, 1/17/12, 2/4/13
Buttonwillow, Kern, CA
On January 26, 2012, two Kern County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call from 18-year-old Christian Chavez’s caseworker, who phoned 911 after Chavez made suicidal comments. Police fatally shot Chavez after he pulled a knife out his pocket. Chavez’s family said he suffered from depression and schizophrenia.
Bakersfield Californian, 1/26/12; Huffington Post, 2/10/12
Moorpark, Ventura, CA
On January 27, 2012, 47-year-old Eric Strosser’s father and sister called 911 and said he was out of control. When police arrived Strosser rushed at detectives with a machete and was fatally shot. Guns had been removed from the residence after a 2007 incident in which deputies responded to the home and took Strosser to a mental health facility. Ventura County Star, 1/30/12
Headland, Henry, AL
On January 31, 2012, police responded to a medical call during which 33-year-old Patrick Fitzgerald Humphrey assaulted two paramedics. Humphrey attacked the first police officer to arrive on the scene. Humphrey was combative and was shot when he charged at officers. Humphrey’s family said he suffered from a mental illness, and had already assaulted a family member earlier that morning. He wasn’t taking his medication at the time. Dolthan Eagle, 1/31/12, 4/11/12, 5/11/12, 1/29/13
Las Vegas, Clark, NV
On February 1, 2012, 23-year-old Jason Baires killed his mother’s boyfriend, 50-year-old Rodolfo Velasco-Bayardo, with a machete and was subsequently fatally shot by police when he came out of his vehicle shooting at them. Baires had become paranoid and was seeking treatment for mental illness.
Las Vegas Review-Journal, 2/3/12
Alexandria, Rapides Parish, LA
On February 6, 2011, 22-year-old Robert Ricks grandmother called 911 for assistance because she observed Ricks was in physical distress. When the rescue unit arrived, Ricks became combative and was tasered when he refused to put his feet in the police car and later while sheriff’s deputies attempted to book him into the Rapides Parish Detention Center. After the second tasering, Ricks’ body went limp, he stopped breathing and died. Ricks suffered from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, and had been released from a treatment center earlier in the week.
The Town Talk, 2/7/12
Pompano Beach, Broward, FL
On February 13, 2012, 53-year-old Kenneth Shewey showed up at his ex-girlfriend’s home and neighbors called 911 after hearing loud arguing. Shewey had pointed his .45 caliber handgun at someone and also fired one shot into the air. He was fatally shot by a police officer. Shewey’s niece said he suffered from mental illness and she had encouraged him to get treatment and medication.
Sun Sentinel, 2/15/12
Hialeah, Miami-Dade, FL
On February 18, 2012, officers were sent the apartment complex of 48-year-old Luis Enrique Nunez after someone called police to say a man was armed and agitated. Nunez was armed with a flare gun and after an exchange, officers opened fire on Nunez. Nunez’ sister said he had a history of mental illness and paranoia but hasn’t been on medication or in therapy for years.
CBS Miami, 2/19/12; Miami Herald, 4/13/12
Pittsburgh, Allegheny, PA
On March 8, 2012, 30-year-old John F. Shick stormed into a lobby at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, located several blocks from his apartment. He fatally shot 25-year-old Michael Schaab, a nurse, and wounded seven other people. Shick was fatally shot by police during the incident. He had a long history of mental illness. WTAE.com, 3/9/12; Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 3/13/12; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 3/13/12, 3/29/12; Post-Gazette.com, 5/6/12; Seattle Times, 3/28/12
Bayonne, Hudson, NJ
On March 21, 2012, a relative asked police to check on 62-year-old Mariano Vargas who had a history of mental illness. Vargas refused to open his door and a one-hour standoff ensued. Police forced their way into the home where they found Vargas in the living room with a knife. He threatened to kill them and began swinging the knife at which point, officers opened fire and killed him.
Jersey Journal, 3/22/12
Phoenix, Maricopa, AZ
On June 4, 2012, a man visiting the Telephone Pioneer Park Pool with two children called police after 25-year-old Timothy Sean O’Brien became belligerent and threatened the man and his daughter with a bat outside the building. Police said they gave multiple warnings to stop and put the bat down, but he continued to move toward them while swinging the bat. Two officers fired their guns multiple times at O’Brien and killed him. O’Brien’s mother said her son was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Arizona Republic, 6/5/12
Memphis, Shelby, TN
On June 12, 2012, police found 19-year-old Christian Freeman armed with a knife and refusing to drop it. Freeman charged them and two officers shot him to death. Freeman had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.Commercial Appeal, 6/18/12
Rochester, Monroe, NY
On June 21, 2012, Israel Andino called Rochester Police officers and said he’d just stabbed his mother. Responding officers encountered Andino in the street. When he fired a round at them, they returned fire killing him. Andino’s stepfather said he suffered from bipolar disorder and was off his medication.
Broomfield, Broomfield, CO
On June 28, 2012, 12-year-old Kyle Miller family called 911 saying he had a knife and was trying to harm himself. Miller pointed a fake gun at officers in the street was fatally shot by Bloomfield police. He had struggled with schizoaffective disorder. The family had pushed to hospitalize their son on several occasions because of self-destructive behavior, but the Boulder mental health center had not allowed it. Denver Post, 6/29/12; Bloomfield Enterprise, 7/6/12, 9/6/12
Jamaica, Queens, NY
On March 15, 2012, 30-year-old Shereese Francis family called for assistance to get her to the hospital. Francis, who wasn’t taking the medication prescribed for her schizophrenia, had become emotionally distraught. Before an ambulance arrived, four police officers cornered her in a basement bedroom, forcing her face-down on the bed and applying pressure while they cuffed her. Within 20 minutes of police arriving, Francis had stopped breathing. A few hours later she was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Gothamist.com, 4/3/12; Village Voice, 6/26/12
Hampton, NA, VA
On July 1, 2012, 26-year-old Bryant Weiford charged at officers with a baseball bat he had used to strike a patrol car and refused to their orders to drop it. He was fatally shot by police. Weiford suffered from bipolar disorder with psychotic features, had been hospitalized twice and recently run out of medication. Daily Press, 7/3/12, 7/6/12
Tukwila, King, WA
On June 30, 2012, 25-year-old Victor Duffy Jr. mother said he called 911 during a fight with his younger sister. The scene was “chaotic” with family members yelling at each other. Within minutes, after officers determined that he needed to be involuntarily committed to a mental-health facility, Duffy Jr. was swinging at police and refusing to comply with their attempts to pat him down for weapons. Police used Tasers and pepper spray to subdue him, but he continued to fight police until they managed to handcuff him and strap him on a gurney. He died later in the day. Seattle Times, 7/2/12, 2/28/13
Pensacola, Escambia, FL
On July 6, 2012, Two deputies were sent to the home of 51-year-old James Kirkland Jr. after Kirkland’s mother called the Lakeview Center, the mental health facility where he was treated, to say her son was extremely distraught. Someone from the Lakeview Center then called 911. They found Kirkland standing outside with a rifle in his hand which he pointed at deputies after which he was shot. He had a history of schizophrenia, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.
Pensacola News Journal, 7/7/12, 10/12/12
Knoxville, Knox, TN
On July 6, 2012, Police when responded when 47-year-old mentally ill Paul Edward Capps, mother called and said he was assaulting her. Capps attacked the first officer to arrive on the scene who attempted to use his Taser. It did not stop the assault and police shot and killed him. knoxnews.com, 7/7/12; WBIR, 7/8/12; Knoxville News-Sentinel, 10/12/12
Riverside, Steuben, NY
On August 1, 2012, 38-year-old Charlene M. Fears stabbed her 4-year-old grandson, Roderick Geiger III who died after being taken to Women & Children’s Hospital. She was fatally shot after she lunged at a Buffalo police officer with a pair of butcher knives. Fears had a history of mental illness.
Buffalo News, 8/2/12; Washington Post, 8/2/12
Madison, Madison, AL
On August 4, 2012, a report that 55-year-old Deborah Jo Day was walking down the street with a pistol and threatening to shoot her neighbors. Day, who had a history of mental illness, pointed a pistol at police and was shot by them. Day had suffered from mental illness and recently stopped taking her medication.
Huntsville Times, 8/4/12
Decatur, Morgan, AL
On August 13, 2012, 36-year-old Mister Bobby Lowe was intoxicated, harassing a female living in one of the apartments, and threatening neighbors with a 2×4. Police found Lowe armed with a handgun in the parking lot. Lowe attempted to grab a rifle from a responding officer who pulled his own handgun and shot Lowe. Lowe suffered from bipolar disorder. WHNT, 8/14/12
Gladstone, Clackamas, OR
On August 14, 2012, police responded to a report that 23-year-old Michael Justin Evans was being aggressive in the home he shared with his grandmother and shot him. Evans led a troubled life gripped by mental illness. Police had been dispatched to his home 10 times in the past 20 months to investigate domestic disturbances, criminal mischief, noise complaints, suicide attempts and threats. Evans’ former girlfriend had filed for a restraining order against five months ago before his death in which she described him as emotionally unstable.
On August 20, 2012, 33-year-old Damion Street stabbed an officer and was fatally shot by an officer during a confrontation. He had a history of mental illness.
North Bergen, Hudson, NJ
On September 1, 2012, 47-year-old Daniel Plato-Jacobo threatened to harm himself and others with broken glass outside the apartment before running into the building. He lunged at responding North Bergen police with a kitchen knife and was fatally shot by them. Plato-Jacobo suffered from mental illness. The Record, 9/2/12
Walnut Creek, Contra Costa, CA
On September 4, 2012, 36-year-old Christopher Boone Lacy fatally shot a California Highway Patrol officer, 37-year-old Kenyon Youngstrom who had stopped Lacy for an obscured license plate. Lacy was then fatally shot by a fellow officer. Lacy had bipolar disorder. Contra Costa Times, 9/6/12; Monterey County Herald, 9/6/12
Glendale, Los Angeles, CA
On January 5, 2012, 38-year-old Richard Hughes girlfriend called paramedics reporting he had overdosed. After police arrived, Hughes came out of his home holding a knife. Police shot him after he refused to drop it. Hughes had bipolar disorder. Glendale News Press, 9/13/12
On September 20, 2012, Samuel Jason Marquez, who suffered from mental illness, went to his mother’s house to get money. His mother had a restraining order against him, so she called the sheriff’s office for help. When deputies arrived, Marquez came out of the house with his mother as a hostage, holding a knife to her throat. Marquez wouldn’t negotiate with deputies who then shot him.
Houston, Harris, TX
On October 11, 2012, a 911 caller told police that 38-year-old Kenneth Brian Releford broke into their home and beat up an 87-year-old man and his two grandchildren, ages 12 and 14. Police went to Releford’s home and ordered him to come out with his hands up. Police said Releford kept one arm behind his back while yelling at them, despite the officer’s repeated verbal commands. Police fatally shot Releford who had schizophrenia and may have not been on his medications at the time of his death. KHOU, 10/11/12
Charlotte, Mecklenburg, NC
On September 14, 2012, 26-year-old Clay McCall’s grandmother locked him out of her house saying she couldn’t control him. She then called a mental health caseworker, who called police. McCall charged at the officer with 10-inch garden shears and was fatally shot by the officer. McCall was diagnosed with schizophrenia and had a history of violence. Charlotte Observer, 10/12/12
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, OK
On September 26, 2012, police responded to a call that 43-year-old Timothy Dennis had fired off a gun. Dennis refused to comply with the officer’s commands, forcing the officer to use his taser. He had trouble breathing, was hospitalized and died three days later. He suffered from paranoid schizophrenia bipolar syndrome, and was off his medication. newson6.com, 10/14/12
Rockford, Winnebago, IL
On October 11, 2012, 18-year-old Logan Bell’s family called 911 fearing he would hurt himself. He pointed what appeared to be a real gun at officers who fatally shot him. It was a pellet gun. Bell had bipolar disorder and had stopped taking his medicine. Rockford Register Star, 10/19/12; Rockford Register Star, 10/20/12; WIFR, 1/17/13
Tulsa, Tulsa, OK
On February 16, 2013, 31-year-old Juan Antonio Gonzalez chased his roommate out of their apartment with a knife. Responding officers fatally shot Gonzalez when pointed a rifle at them that turned out to be a BB gun. Gonzalez had bipolar disorder, was off his meds and hadn’t slept for three or four nights. Gonzalez refused to get help, even jumped out of the car on a trip to the hospital.
News on 6, 2/19/13
Rancho Cordova, Sacramento, CA
On February 18, 2013, 35-year-old Paul Tereshchenko’s relatives called police after Tereshchenko refused to leave when asked to do so. Responding deputies said that Tereshchenko was incoherent, erratic and qualified for an 72-hour involuntary psychiatric hold because he could not care for himself. When deputies tried to take him in, he became “resistive and combative.” Fearing for his safety and the safety of his partner, one of the deputies fatally shot Tereshchenko. Sacramento Bee, 2/20/13
Allentown, Lehigh, PA
On February 21, 2013, police responded to the house of 44-year-old Saturnino Perez De La Rosa when neighbors called police about a disturbance. He was fatally shot by police while he was wielding a machete. De La Rosa was diagnosed with schizophrenia and his brother reported he had called police the day before the shooting to try to have him hospitalized but police said that at that time, they could not force him into treatment because he had not committed a crime.
South River, Middlesex, NJ
On February 23, 2013, 51-year-old Kevin Michael McGlyn was brandishing a knife and threatening two men in his apartment parking lot. He was shot by police. McGlyn who had schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and was not taking his medications, died the next day. Star Ledger, 2/25/13
Seattle, King, WA
On February 27, 2013, 21-year-old Jack Keewatinawin’s, two brothers called police after they had both received disturbing phone calls from their mentally ill brother, who raged about an imagined attack and stolen money. Police believe they were called to a hostage situation involving a hulking and violent mentally ill man who was holding a knife to his father’s throat and had assaulted police in the past. Police say he had threatened an officer with a piece of rebar, which prompted the officers to open fire fatally shooting him. He had schizophrenia and had stopped taking his medication two months before the shooting. Seattle Times, 3/1/13
Kelso, Cowlitz, WA
On March 2, 2013, 26-year-old Jesse Ryan McMillan, was involved in a car crash and fled the scene. Police traced him to the home where he hid in the bedroom. He burst from a bedroom in a home and opened fire on them they returned fire and fatally shot him. Jesse was recently released from jail, where he had not been allowed to take his medication for mental illness. Daily News, 3/2/13