NORFOLK -- When Audrey Latham called police Friday night, she had no idea the call would bring about the death of her 35-year-old son.
“I was telling David, to put the knife down, and he just had it at his side," said Latham, "but he didn’t really have time to process it. It happened so quick, and the officer just started firing," recalled Latham, acknowledging police did tell her son to drop the knife in his hand twice.
Latham told 13News Now that David was schizophrenic and bipolar. He was agitated Friday, and he was aggressive with his family which is why Latham dialed 9-1-1.
Latham said when officers got to her home in the 400 block of West 30th Street, her son was motionless at the front door, although he was holding a kitchen knife. Latham insists David did not threaten the officers with the knife.
"No, no, not, not at all. At no point did David say anything. He just stood there. He just stood there with the knife at his side," Latham said. “He shot him three times, and I just saw some smoke up here in his chest area."
Latham explained after the gunfire hit David, he dropped the knife, and he ran to the back of the house where he collapsed on the kitchen floor.
“The police had shot, fired a couple more times at him," said his sister, Angel Latham. "That’s when I started screaming at him, 'Why are you still shooting at him? He’s already down! Stop shooting him!'"
Paramedics took him to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, but doctors could not save him.
Norfolk police said they are investigating the shooting exhaustively and will turn over the department's findings to the Commonwealth Attorney's Office which will determine if any charges could be filed.
Latham told 13News Now her son called police a week before the shooting, asking them to take him to the hospital for a mental evaluation. He was released. Had he been able to stay at the hospital, Latham said her son still might be alive.
“Why couldn’t they use a better method instead of shooting him down like that? Why did they have to shoot him so many times, why, even after he was on the floor?" asked Latham.
The shooting Friday was the third involving a Norfolk officer within a week.
Wednesday, police were trying to take Lawrence Faine into emergency custody at "Calvary Towers" on East Virginia Beach Boulevard. The department said Faine didn't want to go and threatened an officer with a knife. The officer shot Faine, and Faine died.
May 30, Norfolk police said 29-year-old James Brown went on a shooting rampage, hitting and killing Officer Brian Jones. Officer Curtis Allison was hurt seriously. Police said Brown also shot 17-year-old Mark Rodriguez who died. A third officer eventually shot and killed Brown that night.