An Arkansas cop ordered a schizophrenic man to pull his hands out of his pocket Monday evening, only to shoot him when the man extended an empty hand towards the cop.
Little Rock police officer Kalvin Snow then shot the man again after he had fallen to the ground because he once again extended his hand towards the officer.
Gary Johnson, who was not armed, is listed in critical condition at a local hospital.
The incident took place around 7:20 p.m. when Johnson, who has spent five years in a mental hospital, called 911, telling a dispatcher that he had just killed some people who had tried to rob him.
Police responded to the scene, but found nothing suspicious, so they left.
But Johnson called 911 again, this time telling dispatchers he was going to kill somebody else and that he was armed with two guns.
According to Arkansas Matters:
When police responded for the second time, they made contact with Johnson. The police report states that Johnson refused the officers’ orders to take his hands out of his pockets. The report says that Johnson eventually took one hand out of his pocket and quickly extended his arm at the officer.
“Officer Snow, fearing that Johnson had a handgun, then shot Johnson, causing him to fall to the ground,” the police report stated.
When Johnson extended his arm toward the officers for a second time, Snow shot him a second time.
Officers then handcuffed Johnson and searched him, but did not find any firearms on him.
Now Johnson’s family members are demanding to know why police did not handle the situation differently, given his mental illness.
But police say there was no way to know he was mentally ill. And even if they did, they still wanted to make it home to their families.