MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A petition to commit the man shot and killed by Mobile Police on Glenwood Street brought to light a history of mental illness.
A ‘Petition for Involuntary Commitment’ filed three days before Monday’s shooting stated that 24-year-old Christopher Jones had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and was not taking his medication.
“He would never just talk directly to you, but he’d just talk to himself, and he’ll drink his beer and he’d just ride his bicycle,” Jermaine Wooten, a neighbor who lives near the vacant house Jones was shot at, said.
The petition stated that Jones stole a gun from his mother a week before he pulled a gun on the two Mobile Police officers who talked him off the roof of the vacant house. While the gun was stolen on either Sept. 26 or 27, it wasn’t until Sept. 29 that the petition to have Jones committed was filed.
The gun Jones pointed at the officers was a shotgun with a pistol grip on it.
“Family is always going to be the first to see anything going on with their family member that’s strange and bizarre and being able to identify what that is and get them help early in the process is very important,” Dr. Cindy Gipson with AltaPointe’s Behavioral Health and Crisis Center, said. “Waiting weeks or months is detrimental to that person.”
If the petitioner had requested an emergency evaluation, the Mobile County Probate Judge would have ordered AltaPointe to evaluate Jones immediately, but it was not filed as an emergency despite the petition showing that Jones may have been a threat to himself or others.
“We sent an evaluator out Friday afternoon, but his mom didn’t know where he was. He wasn’t home,” Dr. Gipson said. “We sent an evaluator back out Monday morning, but the incident had just happened.”
The petition is the third one filed by the family, but Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis said that’s because of Jones’s noncompliance to his treatment.
WKRG News 5 has made contact with the family, but they said they are too distraught to speak. They have hired an attorney.