'He was afraid': Mother seeks answers after her mentally ill son is shot dead by police
A grieving family is demanding answers after their mentally ill son was shot and killed in the US, according to reports.
The Daily Beast reports Joshua Anthony Barre, 29, walked into a convenience store in Tulsa Country carrying two large knives when police shot him at the door.
Edited footage released by the Tulsa Police Department from inside the store shows Barre, shirtless and carrying a knife in each hand, trying to get in.
But an officer appears from behind and shoots him.
Barre’s mother, Etta Lowe-Barre, said her son had lived with schizo-affective and bipolar disorders.
He had reportedly not been taking his medication for a month and Ms Lowe-Barre said her son had no criminal record other than a public intoxication ticket from 2012 after he walked home from a friend’s barbecue.
“I don’t want people to report that he was just a deranged man,” Lowe-Barre told The Daily Beast from her home on Saturday.
“He was a normal human being with a lot of love in his heart for mankind.
“He wanted everybody to love each other, and to create a better world.
“That’s all he talked about.”
She said her son “needed help” and was “afraid”, and added that her son’s psychiatrist had obtained a court order for a mental health evaluation.
But Tulsa Police Department says it received four separate 911 calls from residents about Barre just before his death.
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Officers also reportedly told Barre they were there to help him but he refused to stop or put down the knives.
Tulsa police further allege he threatened to kill them.
Barre’s family are demanding answers surrounding his death, including exactly what happened in the moments before he was killed.
“All we know at this point is that what began as a ‘mental health’ pickup ended in tragedy. We need to know why,” the family’s lawyer Daniel Smolen said.
Intense dialogue between @tulsapolice and crowd right now pic.twitter.com/APpxxIHCN7
— Kyle Hinchey (@KyleHinchey) June 9, 2017
He also also called for police to release any dashcam footage of Barre before the incident.
Barre’s death has prompted outrage throughout the community with reportedly nearly 300 protestors gathering shortly after the incident.
Police said they had come into contact with Barre earlier when an attempt to speak with him was made on June 1 at his residence.
But while it’s alleged he threatened them with a hammer, officers left saying he did not pose a threat to anyone.
The June 1 visit was the first of a number of visits made to Barre’s residence in the week leading up to his death.