Kalamazoo Mayor Makes Emotional Plea During Update on Fatal Police Shooting
The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety and the Michigan State Police held a joint press conference Wednesday morning to update the community about a fatal police-involved shooting that happened over the weekend.
But at the end of the press conference an emotional Dave Anderson, Mayor of Kalamazoo, made a plea regarding mental health and the effect incidents like this have on everyone from the press, to the police, local government, and the community as a whole.
"This is not something that happened to somebody else. This is something that happened to us. Look around in this room. Is this good for anybody?
Is this good for the press? Is this what you want to be focused on? The details of this kind of thing. Is this good for our public safety officers that had to respond? Using something I am sure they don't want to use... deadly force. Is this good for the people who were at the bus station? Is this good for the three people who were shot? Is this good for the son of Anthony Oliver and his family? No.
As a community, this is not good for us. So what do we need to do about it?"
He then strongly emphasized that is time to destigmatize mental health services saying there is nothing wrong with encouraging anyone you know to get help if you feel like they need it or see warning signs.
During the press conference, officials with the Michigan State Police indicated that the suspect in the bus shootings, 54-year-old Anthony Oliver, had previous run-ins with police and had even indicated he wanted to die from "suicide by cop" in 2018 and was admitted to a mental health facility at that time. Family members also have said Oliver had difficult struggles with his mental health during his life.
There was also other new information given during the conference. Officials say that three officers were involved in the shooting of Oliver and that all three remain on a standard paid administrative leave during the MSP's independent investigation. Findings will be forwarded to the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor's office for review.
They still are unsure of the motive but also indicated that there is no reason at this time to believe that Oliver knew any of the three victims, who have now been released from the hospital and are recovering from their injuries.
They are asking any witnesses who were there and have not been contacted yet to email the Michigan State Police at firstname.lastname@example.org
Just after 9:00 a.m. Saturday morning, Oliver opened fire inside a bus he had boarded. Responding officers shot Oliver, who later died at the hospital.
**WARNING: The video below contains footage that some may find disturbing*