AP NEWS

Family seeks answers after mentally ill man killed by police

January 9, 2020 GMT

GORDO, Ala. (AP) — Family members of a mentally ill man killed by police last year said they want answers about what happened to him.

Wallace Wilder’s family members, along with the Alabama NAACP, held a press conference Thursday, saying they have received little information since he was killed in August by law enforcement officers in Pickens County, and the state said they were investigating the officer-involved shooting.

The Tuscaloosa News reported that a neighbor of Wilder’s had called authorities after hearing him breaking things inside his apartment and he was shot dead by responding officers that included the sheriff.

“We still have no answers as to what happened. All we know is it went from a mental evaluation to a killing,” his daughter, Mariah Wilder, said.

The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting, a common practice in fatal officer-involved shootings.

Robyn Bryan, a spokeswoman for the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, wrote in an email that the case file should be ready to turn over to the attorney general’s office within the next two weeks.

The 62-year old Wilder was well-known to law enforcement authorities because of a long history of mental illness, Richard Rice, an attorney for the family said.

Rice said they know Wilder was having some type of “mental illness episode” that day and calls were made to authorities. He said Wilder was shot four times, and that it appeared authorities had forced their way into the house. He said Wilder had no firearms in the house.