GARDEN CITY, Mo. — The family of a woman shot and killed by Cass County deputies on Monday says she was a Marine struggling with PTSD.
Crystal Guhr’s family said she was going through a difficult time. She recently lost her partner to suicide and was depressed. They believe she never wanted to shoot deputies, but intended to be shot.
Cass County officials said when they arrived at Guhr’s house Monday evening, she was on the porch with a gun. Deputies said she was told to put the gun down numerous times, but did not, and eventually pointed the gun at a deputy before she was shot.
Her family said Guhr was dealing with post traumatic stress disorder and was self-medicating.
Paul Chappa, who heads the organization Friends in Service of Heroes (FISH), said too many veterans are lost when suffering a crisis.
“What can we do as community to help stop this?” Chappa said. “For so many of our veterans reaching out and asking for help. It’s very difficult for them, sometimes they see it as a sign of weakness.”
Guhr’s brother said she was a boxer in the Marine Corps and competed nationally. She had a 7-year-old son and recently lost her partner. Increasingly, she became depressed, and he believes she never intended to hurt deputies.
The shooting is being investigated by the Western Missouri Sheriff’s Office Critical Incident Response Team. It’s made up of law enforcement from Henry, Bates and Cass counties.
Lt. Craig McMein with the Cass County Sheriff’s Office said it was a difficult situation for responding deputies.
“This is not an incident that anybody wants to be involved with, law enforcement or not. We have attended numerous trainings to assist with evaluation of someone under a mental health crisis, it is unfortunate,” McMein said.
“There are plenty of Marines that we could have connected her with. But now, there are plenty of Marines out there that won’t get a chance to meet her and connect with her,” Chappa said.
Chappa said he knows there are many veterans in the Kansas City metro who need help like Guhr did. He hopes her story will help them make the decision to reach out and get help.
“It really is a sign of strength to reach out and say, ‘I need help.’ And there are so many people out there willing to listen, you know, all they have to do is pick up the phone,” Chappa said.
If you are a veteran and need help there are several local ways to find it.
- The VA Medical Center mental health program
- Benilde Hall offers options for housing, substance abuse, and mental health
- ReDiscover treatment options program
- Call the National Veterans Hotline for suicide prevention at 1-800-273-8255.
- Reach out to Friends in Service of Heroes (FISH)
If you are struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, there are people who care and ready to help. Visit our ‘You Matter’ section for multiple ways to get help right away.