Family says man’s struggle with mental illness led to deadly Lee’s Summit shooting

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LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. – One brother is dead and another one is in police custody, suspected of killing him on Wednesday.

A deadly shooting was first reported as the result of a fight between two brothers, but family members say that is not the case. They say this tragedy is the result of a mental health issue.

Family members say that the 24-year-old suspect suffers from schizophrenia, has not been taking his medication and has hallucinations. Wednesday morning at about 9:30, they say he snapped.

As the family tells it, the 28-year-old brother was in the bathroom with his 2-year-old son, brushing their teeth, when the 24-year-old came in and shot his brother once in the head, killing him.

Their mother, who also lives in the home, heard the shot, grabbed the 2-year-old boy, ran out of the house and called police. She reported to family members that the suspect told her it was an accident before he got into his car and took off.

The shooting is a tragedy that family member Richard Stanford says could have been avoided.

“It tears a family apart when you see a loved one that's dying inside and you don’t know how to reach them and how to help them," Stanford said. "And then when you call for help and the help wants to help you, but they can’t because their hands are tied also, it's a catch-22. This country really needs to revisit the issue of mental illness."

Police say the suspect was on the run for about 45 minutes, but came back to the scene of the crime in his red Cadillac. When he tried to turn on to Northeast Magellan and go past the police barrier, officers recognized him and he was arrested without incident.

Police were tracking the suspect’s whereabouts, and at one time, he was near the Westview Elementary School, which is about two miles from the scene of the shooting.

The school was briefly put on a soft lockdown as a precaution.

Police have not released the names of those involved in the shooting.