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Suicidal man sues police after being shot nine times while having 'mental breakdown'

NewsSuicidal man sues police after being shot nine times while having 'mental breakdown'

A man from South Carolina who was shot by police nine times is suing officers for “excessive use of deadly force”. Trevor Mullinax, 29, who has been arrested for crimes including burglary and domestic violence in the past, claims he was sitting in his pickup truck talking to his mother when he was descended on by police “like cowboys from a John Wayne movie”.

The claims have been contested by the York County Sheriff’s Office, who say: “Mr Mullinax chose to put these men in danger by pulling a shotgun.”

Mullinax, a resident of Rock Hill, South Carolina, claims in the lawsuit that officers drew their guns before resorting “to using deadly force, immediately, without attempting to de-escalate the situation”.

In police bodycam footage of the incident, which took place in May 2021, Mr Mullinax is seen inside the pickup truck on land owned by his family, with his mother Tammy Beason standing outside the vehicle near the driver’s window.

Officers can be seen getting out of the police vehicle and exclaiming: “Let me see your hands.”

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Beason, 48, ducks and runs to take cover in the nearby shrubbery later when police begin shooting at the vehicle, breaking the windscreen glass.

Beason’s screaming can be heard from the pick-up after 50 shots were fired, MailOnline reports.

Mullinax has confessed a shotgun was in the truck, however, he denies pointing it at himself or the police officers.

His lawyers insist he raised his hands and was complying with the deputies’ orders.

Mullinax’s lawyer, Justin Bamberg, told a news conference attended by Beason on Tuesday: “There was a round that hit him smack dab in the middle of the back of his head.

“Never seen anybody get shot in the back of the head who’s a threat to law enforcement or anybody else.”

Mullinax himself said to reporters he was going through a mental health crisis, with the police becoming involved when he knocked down his girlfriend’s door several days prior to the shooting.

The complaint says that a call requesting a “wellness check” on Mullinax was made to the sheriff’s department.

The suit states that a team of deputies went to the family’s properties, where they were directed to where Mullinax was parked and talking to his mother by his grandfather.

The court papers read: “Prior to arriving at the location on the property where Plaintiff Mullinax was still sitting inside his pickup truck, Sheriff’s deputies drew their firearms and were prepared to shoot Plaintiff Mullinax and exercise deadly force before they made verbal contact with him.”

His lawyers informed reporters that “Trevor was just in a really dark place”, and said that he “had been contemplating suicide”.

Mullinax also said: “May is Mental Health Awareness Month.

“I hate that I have to be the face of it this month.

“But if it helps even one single person in this world to not have to go through what me and my family have, I’m OK with it.”

York Country Sheriff Kevin Tolson’s statement read: “Mr Mullinax chose to put these men in danger by pulling a shotgun.

“These deputies responded appropriately to the threat as they were trained to do.’

“Had Mr. Mullinax made different choices that day, deputies would not have been required to use force.”

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