Detroit/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on June 19, 2024
Michigan State Police Investigate Fatal Police Shooting of Man During Mental Health Crisis in WayneSource: Google Street View

A man in Wayne, Michigan, was fatally shot by a police officer following his own 911 call reporting a mental health crisis. As reported by CBS Detroit, the shooting occurred yesterday around 2:39 p.m. on W. Michigan Avenue after Wayne police were contacted by the 40-year-old man, who said he was schizophrenic and off his medication while caring for his 4-year-old child.

Upon the officers' arrival at his home, they encountered the man with a knife and wounds that seemed to be self-inflicted. After the man failed to adhere to verbal instructions, police attempted to use a taser which proved unsuccessful. The situation turned fatal when the man allegedly charged towards the officers, prompting one of them to fatally shoot him, according to the police statement. Michigan State Police have commenced an investigation, which is routine procedure in officer-involved shootings, with no troopers involved in the incident.

In a portrayal of the man's distress, FOX 2 Detroit reported that the man informed the 911 operator he was experiencing a mental health crisis and stated he had attempted suicide. Brooks Edwards, who expected to become the man's mother-in-law, spoke to FOX 2, expressing that the man was known to suffer from schizophrenia and was unjustly killed. "He had a butter knife – not a machete, not a gun – and they shot him six times and killed him," Edwards said. She underscored the critical nature of understanding mental illness before resorting to lethal measures.

An investigation by Michigan State Police is underway, with the officer involved placed on administrative leave. The man's familial ties and the tragedy of the event were highlighted by the family's attorney Todd Perkins, indicating a profound loss. "As human beings, we know there should have been a different outcome… Is it training that could have resolved this? And ended up in something that is a trip to the hospital versus a trip to the morgue?" Perkins pondered in a statement obtained by FOX 2 Detroit. The family is struggling to find answers and is looking to the police body cameras to clarify the circumstances leading to the fatal shooting.

The man's child was unharmed and has since been placed with his mother, as detailed by the The Detroit News. With the officer's body-worn camera expected to provide further information, Michigan State Police are continuing to openly investigate the incident to determine the appropriate course of action in response to the shooting's complex circumstances.