Report: Norfolk police shot mentally ill man multiple times

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by Karen Hopkins, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on June 23, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 24 at 5:17 AM

NORFOLK -- Police shot a mentally ill man multiple times, according to the victim’s mother.

Audrey Latham said she received a hospital emergency room report stating that her son David Latham had gunshot wounds in his abdomen, chest, armpit, arm, hand and back.

David Latham was shot and killed by officers in the 400 block of West 30th Street late on the evening of June 6.

The medical report shows Latham had two gunshot wounds in the back and that bullets amputated two of his fingers.

The day after her son was killed, Audrey Latham, told 13News Now that she called 9-1-1 that night because her son, who was schizophrenic and bipolar, was agitated and acting aggressive.

Audrey Latham said police shot her son after he did not comply with their orders to put down a knife he was holding.

Last month, Norfolk police fatally shot two mentally ill men, Latham and Lawrence Faine. Both of them were armed with knives.

On Tuesday, Police Chief Michael Goldsmith will update City council on plans to provide police more training to deal with mentally ill people.  

Attorney John Cooper is representing the Latham family and planning to file a lawsuit including allegations that officers could have used non-lethal force to get David Latham to comply with their orders.

Cooper also said his firm was investigating the Norfolk Police Department's training and policies for officers involving encounters with the mentally disabled.

The  Lathams' attorney said his clients would wait for the police department to finish their internal investigation and Commonwealth Attorney Greg Underwood to review the case for possible criminal charges before filing a lawsuit. That process will likely take several months.

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