ST. MARTINVILLE, La. (AP) — A deadly confrontation between a mentally ill man and two sheriff's deputies in south Louisiana appears to fit a troubling, tragic pattern.
Relatives say 32-year-old Michael Noel wasn't armed and didn't pose a threat when one of the deputies shot and killed him inside his home on Dec. 21.
Deadly confrontations between law enforcement officers and people with mental illnesses have remained a persistent problem. But experts see evidence that suggests the problem has worsened as governments dismantle networks of health care services.
Noel's mother, Barbara, says her son struggled to get the treatment he needed for his paranoid schizophrenia.
The deputies who confronted Michael Noel were carrying out a protective custody order that his mother had obtained so he could be treated at a local hospital.