Johnny Magee was killed by police in front of his family and neighbors in Houma Monday after his mother made a phone call seeking help for her son who suffered from mental conditions.
“I called 911 and said my son is schizophrenic, bipolar, he has a mental disorder. I said when you come out here, I said send some policemen with experience in that area so they won’t kill my child.” his mother, Lorraine Magee, said Tuesday.
The mother’s pleas with police to send professionals that have experience and training to deescalate situations such as the one that was happening with her son went unheard. Police killed her son after they arrived because they say he ran at them with a screw driver in his hand.
Lorraine Magee says that her son was having a mental breakdown when two police officers arrived. She also said that she told police that her son could get aggressive when having one of his episodes, “that he would try to protect himself if they came at him”.
“When he’s in his flash, when he flashes out, he’s like that, especially when you go up on him. He’s going to start fighting. Yes, he’s going to start fighting to protect himself”, Lorraine Magee said.
Louisiana State Police said their preliminary investigation indicated Magee charged at a Houma Police officer while holding a screwdriver. As the officer gave commands to stop and began to create distance, Magee continued forward as an additional officer arrived, State Police said in a news release. Magee raised his arm with the screwdriver in-hand toward one of the officers, resulting in an officer discharging his service weapon. Magee was struck by the gunfire and taken to a nearby hospital, where he died from his injuries, State Police said. (reported by the Courier)
“He did come out of the trailer, running … at them,” King said. “All you heard was pow, pow, pow, pow — four times.” Lashanda King, a witness stated.
But Lorraine Magee said she begged police not to shoot. “I said, ‘Why you all shooting him? He’s disabled. He’s mental, he don’t know what he’s doing, he hears voices. Don’t kill him, please don’t kill him, please don’t kill him ”.
Houma Police invited family members to view the officer’s body camera video of the incident. Family members said they want to know what prompted to police to shoot a mentally ill, unarmed man and whether they had any option other than to kill Magee.
The mother stated that “They didn’t have to kill him; they could have tased him”.
Houma Police Chief Dana Coleman told The Houma Courier and Thibodaux Daily Comet both officers have been placed on administrative leave pending the State Police investigation. “First I would like to extend my condolences to the family of Johnny Magee. The Houma Police Department believes once LSP is complete with their investigation more detailed information will be released.”
This article originally appeared on The Courier: Mother says she pleaded with Houma police before they shot her son. It can be watched on YouTube at WWLTV Police kill a mentally ill man they say had a screwdriver.
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