Family says woman killed in deputy-involved shooting suffered from dementia and mental illness

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. — Adrean Stephenson’s household says she was a candy 63-year-old grandmother who suffered from psychological sickness.

“She had Pre-Alzheimers and dementia. She had a number of medical issues as properly,” mentioned Nicole Pipitone, Stephenson’s daughter and caretaker.

On August 2, Stephenson’s household referred to as 911 after she obtained violent and ran out of the home with an eight-inch knife.

When deputies discovered Stephenson hours later, they are saying she had a number of self-inflicted wounds, was bleeding after which got here at deputies with the knife.

Deputies say after a number of instructions to drop the weapon they deployed a taser nevertheless it didn’t work, so that they shot her. Stephenson died on the scene.

“An 11-second choice ended my mother’s life. In entrance of me. I fell to my knees in the midst of the road,” mentioned Pipitone.

On Saturday, protestors marched in Sarasota, holding indicators that learn “Justice for Adrean” and “Cease killing individuals with disabilities.”

“Once you attain out to the police you’re on the lookout for assist and for the top outcome to be dying is heartbreaking,” mentioned Alaina Martinez, Leaders Rights group.

Stephenson’s household says they help legislation enforcement however need adjustments like social employees or negotiators introduced on calls the place dispatch is instructed about psychological sickness.

“I wish to make it clear, I’m not mad on the police. I simply imagine that they want extra sources, extra coaching. There must be a greater means,” mentioned Thomas Pipitone Jr., Stephenson’s son-in-law.

At a press convention the day after the capturing, Sarasota Sheriff Tom Knight admitted extra must be accomplished relating to responding to psychological well being emergencies.

“It’s unlucky. That is precisely what we’re speaking about in our society. About, what’s the fill-gap with the necessity for legislation enforcement to be concerned with psychological well being points and what’s that seem like for the way forward for our nation and our society,” mentioned Knight.

Stephenson’s household says they’re advocating for change as a result of they don’t need the candy grandmother to be solely remembered for the violent means she died.

“We imagine that there’s obtained to be a greater means. This may’t occur to individuals with psychological well being, particularly the aged,” mentioned Thomas Pipitone Jr.

Stephenson’s household says they’re gathering funds to assist with funeral bills. In the event you’re concerned about serving to, go to their GoFundMe.

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