Health officials pushing for mental health awareness after deadly shooting of man having mental episode

Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 6:15 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Health officials in St. Joseph County continue their push for more public awareness regarding mental health.

This comes nearly a week after a South Bend man who was going through a mental episode was shot and killed by police near Coquillard Elementary School. Police say Dante Kittrell, 51, was shot after allegedly pointing his gun at officers.

According to his family, Kittrell had a history of being suicidal, was a former patient at Oaklawn Psychiatric Center, and was off his medication when encountered by police.

The county does have a mental health crisis team, but it’s still unconfirmed if they were ever called to the scene. St. Joseph County Health Officer Robin Vida touched on the importance of deploying those teams when needed.

“Anytime you are working with somebody with that is in any sort of crisis, in all honesty, it’s one remaining calm assessing the safety of the matter, and then what are your next steps going to be,” Vida says.

Some people are calling for the release of dash and body cam video from this shooting. Public requests have been made, but the investigation is ongoing.

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