Recent officer-involved shootings bring questions of mental health

Rock Hill Police say a 30 year-old man with apparent mental health issues was shot during a standoff with police on Thanksgiving Day.

ROCK HILL, S.C. -- There are new questions about mental health issues and guns after an officer-involved shooting in Rock Hill.

Rock Hill Police say a 30 year-old man with apparent mental health issues was shot during a standoff with police on Thanksgiving Day.

On Friday, the man was in stable condition and expected to recover, according to investigators. 

In Charlotte, two officers with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department were cleared of any criminal wrongdoing in the shooting death of Ruben Galindo earlier this year.

Prosecutors said Galindo’s mental instability was a factor in that case too.

In the latest case in Rock Hill, neighbors who knew the man say he was very depressed. 

“It’s that time of the year too, with the holidays,” says neighbor and Pastor Ronnie Aiton, known as Mr. Ronnie. 

“There were lives in danger last night,” says Mr. Ronnie.

Investigators say two SWAT officers entered the home and shot the armed man. According to police, officers had an order to pick him up for mental health treatment.

“He was very depressed and depression is a bad thing,” says Mr. Ronnie.

Congressman Robert Pittenger recently called for tougher gun law enforcement, after deadly shootings in Texas and California, where suspects battled mental health issues. 

“The last couple shootings we’ve had have been because we haven’t had enforcement of the laws that are on the books and they need to be enforced,” Congressman Pittenger told NBC Charlotte.

In the latest case, some neighbors say they’ve never had any trouble with the man who officers shot.

“I heard he got shot, and I didn't like it at all,” says Katie, a neighbor. “He seemed like a sweet man to me.”

No officers were hurt during the standoff. The two officers involved in the shooting are on administrative duty pending the investigation. 

Police say the man who was shot is in stable condition and expected to make a full recovery. The case is an active and ongoing investigation.

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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