Police identify man killed in officer-involved shooting at Coquillard Elementary School
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- St. Joseph Police have identified the man killed in the officer-involved shooting on Friday at Coquillard School as 51-year old Dante Kittrell.
According to reports, South Bend Police were dispatched to Coquillard Elementary School on reports of a male individual with a handgun threatening suicide near the baseball fields.
After a standoff that lasted almost an hour, members of the SBPD SWAT Team fired upon Kittrell after unsuccessful attempts to de-escalate the situation, according to the police report.
Witnesses say they watched the trauma unfold as more police arrived on the scene.
"We had seen the man in the field, and he was pretty much surrounded by cops," said Brianna Johnson, who recorded the incident on Facebook Live. "They all had their weapons drawn on him."
According to Johnson, Kittrell's mother said he was off his medication.
Another witness, James Williams, believes this highlights the wider issue of addressing mental health and policing.
"I was trying to get the officers' attention to say 'Look, someone really needs to talk with him that has the training concerning how to deal with a mental person,'" said Williams. "If you don't have someone he can relate to, identify with, quite naturally, you're looking at twelve to fifteen weapons pulled at you, all white faces, how would you feel?"
The St. Joseph County Police and Mishawaka Police are handling the investigation.