Relatives say Bossier City man shot by police suffered from mental illness

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BOSSIER CITY, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Family members have identified the man who was fatally shot over the weekend by Bossier City police, and they say suffered from mental illness.

Eric Jefferson says it was his brother, 34-year-old Johnathan Jefferson, who was shot Saturday night during what police described as an altercation after officers responded to a report of a domestic disturbance at his home in the 400 block of Plaza Circle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Family members say Jefferson was bipolar and had schizophrenia, and that he was having a manic episode that night.

Jefferson’s mother Bessie Dew told KTAL/KMSS that her son had been struggling with mental illness since he was 21 and that police had been called several times over the years for help in getting him to the hospital.

This time, however, Dews said the family did not recognize the officers who responded and they did not appear to be familiar with him.

Family members say Jefferson had a knife before police arrived, but they say they do not know whether he still had it in his hand when police arrived.

The two officers involved in the shooting have been placed on paid administrative leave according to Bossier City Police Department policy until the completion of an investigation, which is being conducted by Louisiana State Police at the request of BCPD.

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