HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — A Marcus Alert was not implemented the night a Henrico Police Officer shot and killed a Henrico man during a domestic dispute at a Highland Springs home, a Henrico Police spokesperson confirmed. The deceased, 20-year-old Malachi Carroll, was suffering with mental health issues when he was killed, his father told CBS 6.
Named after Marcus David Peters, the alert system aims to use regional call centers to alert mental health teams to potential psychiatric emergencies, quickly assess risks, and dispatch professionals to help the person in crisis by persuasion instead of force. Peters was shot and killed when he charged a Richmond Police Officer during a mental health episode along Interstate 95 in Richmond in 2018. That shooting was later deemed justified.
While the Henrico Police Department has adopted the Marcus Alert system, it was not used on Wednesday night because officers were called to the Elsing Green Court home for a domestic disturbance in which a threat was identified and not a mental health call.
“Henrico Emergency Communications is our first link where callers are trained to gather as much information for first responders in the field responding to the scene," Henrico Police spokesperson Karina Bolster told CBS 6 via email. "If there is a mental health nexus, and services are an identified need, police work with our mental health partners to collaborate a response.
"In this case, it was an active domestic-related incident where threats were apparent when officers arrived. As with any scenario, the goal is to seek compliance through de-escalation; officers must adapt to, and respond to, what they are presented with."
Bolster said all Henrico Police Officers are trained in crisis intervention and de-escalation.
"If a caller requests additional resources, efforts will be made to reach those entities. Same thing goes for officers. Even with their CIT, de-escalation and mental health training, if they believe additional resources are needed, a request will be made," Bolster said. "Those resources could be available immediately, but please note - it does not always mean that entity would head to a scene."
In addition, Henrico has a Marcus Alert database where people can voluntarily alert law enforcement to any behavioral health issues they might have that could help responding officers.
That way, 911 can use it as background information to decide if mental health resources are needed in the event of a crisis.
Police could not say whether Carroll was entered in the database due to HIPAA laws.
Malachi Carroll's father Brandon Jordan said he wanted to raise awareness about the impacts of mental illness.
He said all he knows so far about what led up to the shooting is what he’s been told and he’d like to see the body cam footage.
The police officer who shot Carroll has been with Henrico Police since June 2020.
"She has been placed on an administrative assignment, pending a complete and thorough investigation," a Henrico Police spokesperson's email read. "The officer's body camera footage is being reviewed, and the Division is working closely with the Henrico Commonwealth Attorney’s Office."
Jordan told CBS 6 that he believed his son was potentially suicidal and did not believe the officer who killed his son wanted this to happen.
"This is a difficult situation for all involved, and our team is working hard to determine the facts of what happened last night," Henrico Police Chief Eric English said in an emailed statement.
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