In a Friday afternoon shootout, a police officer was killed and one wounded another as an Alabama man bound twice to mental facilities opened fire.
Michael Jansen shot and killed Deputy Scott Ward and injured Deputy Curtis Summerlin before he was shot and eventually killed by fellow officers who fired back, reports say.
What puzzles authorities, including Baldwin County Probate judge Tim Russell, was how Jansen acquired the gun despite the federal law that prohibit those who have been committed to mental institutions to obtain firearms.
Jansen was last submitted to a mental facility in 2010 and subsequently released in July, reports say.
The gun’s ownership and how Jansen was able to acquire it is yet to be known by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to District Attorney Hallie Dixon.
The suspect’s mother, Helen, revealed that she requested her son to be submitted to mental institutions despite Jansen’s will because of a growing “erratic and threatening behaviour, according to documents.
Jansen’s 84-year-old mother has grown increasingly wary of his actions which included cutting himself with a razor in his neck and arms which required 88 stitches and 37 staples to mend, reports say.
According to Judge Russell Jansen’s records reveal a variety of mental health issues such as bipolar disorder, manic fits, and alcohol and marijuana addiction, though according to a document discharging Jansen from hospital said he had been treated and “improved enough” to be released.
His mother also narrated a time when her son made public obscenities at motorists passing the road, and that Jansen once claimed to be a Marine officer and said that psychiatric treatment and medication was “poison”, reports say.
She also said that Jansen has become increasingly aggressive towards any help, according court documents cited by Fox News.
However, reports also say that no certification records show Jansen’s confinement to mental treatment since his release in July 2010 or statements that would describe his mental condition from then until the shooting.
Before the shootout, Deputies Ward, Summerlin and another officer were talking to Jansen in his Fairhope home in rural Alabama, reports say.
Helen had sought for medical help because Jansen becoming distressed and the medical backup called for more help as the man has become uncontrollable.
According to Lt. Judson Beedy who is investigating the case Jansen’s weapon was not yet visible when the police officers were talking to him and that Jansen started shooting at the deputies at close range which escalated in the deadly shooting Friday afternoon.
District attorney Dixon said that it was possible that Jansen man had legally bought the weapon from another person.
Reports noted that under an Alabama law, purchasing a gun from another person are “largely unregulated”.
It also noted that by firearms vendors check national databases where mental patients, like Jansen, are listed particularly if there are cases where authorities have sworn against the patient or the patient has a record of firearms misuse, reports say.
Meanwhile, friends, colleagues and supporters of Deputy Ward showed their collective sympathies at his funeral in a civic center in Fairhope Tuesday to bid goodbye to the murdered police officer.
Ward’s colleague Sheriff Huey Mack teared up in a news conference tackling details of his friend Ward’s death, whom he said was “an exemplary deputy sheriff”.
Deputy Summerlin came from operations that removed bullets from his arm and leg and is reportedly in good condition.
Sheriff Mack revealed that Ward was not the officer in charge for answering to the call from the Jansen residence seeking for help, but that Ward was in the vicinity and only wanted to back up his fellow officers.
In a recent news, a convicted killer who murdered a New York City police detective in Staten Island during an undercover operation, has appealed to court to overturn his death penalty sentence.
Lawyers of Ronell Wilson submitted a plea that Wilson, with an average IQ of 70, was “intellectually disabled” and that he be spared from the sentence.