LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. -- Mental illness is being blamed for the shooting death of one man by his brother. The family says 24-year-old Lawrence Bar II suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, and they blame the system that would not allow his mother to get him help for this tragedy.
Bar lived with his mother in her Lee's Summit home. Aaron Elmore, Sr., 28, and his 2-year-old son were visiting and had spent the night.
Rhonda Williams says it was a normal Wednesday morning, everyone getting ready for the day.
"I had just left the bathroom and my little grandbaby passed me and went in there with a step stool to brush his teeth with his daddy. And I went in my room and the next thing I know I heard the gunshot," said Williams.
Williams said when she ran to see what happened, she found Elmore on the ground, shot in the head and Bar frantically pacing around saying it was an accident.
She says she does not know why Bar killed Elmore, but she does not blame him for his actions.
Williams says Bar was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when he was 17. Over time, the quiet, happy little boy became distant, started hearing voices, talking to himself and once cut the wires on the internet connection and alarm system because he thought they were allowing people to spy on him.
Shortly after, Williams admitted Bar to Two Rivers Hospital when he turned 18. When he was released, because her son was an adult, she could not get access to his medical information, nor get him help although she tried many times.
"It's just like well, if he doesn’t agree to come, oh well. There’s nothing we can do. I was literally told there is nothing we can do," Williams said of what she was told when she called several agencies for help.
Williams said she was left to protect her son and deal with his sickness herself. She knew her son's mental condition was deteriorating, but she never thought something like the shooting would happen.
Williams is not angry with her son, but angry with the system she says failed her family.
“It’s a tragedy, yes, what happened but I can’t turn my back on him because he needs me. He needs help. He doesn’t need me to be angry and upset with him, he doesn't need that. He needs help. Mental help," Williams said.
Williams did not know her son had a gun in the house. She is also is angry that someone with a diagnosed mental illness as serious as Bar’s could legally buy a gun.
“They are paranoid of everyone. Anyone being around them they are suspect of them, you know? For them to be paranoid and schizophrenic, to me they should not be able to have any sort of weapon; none, because they will use on themselves or on someone else," which Williams said happened in this case.
The family says they have funds in place to help take care of Elmore's son, but they have set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for Elmore's funeral expense. If you would like to help, click on this link.