KILLEEN, TX — Frustration and more questions have surfaced after newly released video shows Patrick Warren, Sr. interact with a mental health officer the day before his death, with a much different ending.
The time stamp on the video from the Warren family’s Ring doorbell shows an officer who had additional mental health training, according to the family, talk Warren down from a mental health episode and drive him to receive further medical attention.
If you hold the videos side by side, one of the first questions that comes to mind is, could things have gone differently if a mental health officer responded?
“The encounter was completely different, so we do know that all of those things are different, but we’re not sure which difference were more important or had a greater impact on how the call unfolded,” said Dr. Tammy Bracewell, criminal justice professor at A&M Central Texas.
It’s almost impossible to predict human behavior, Dr. Bracewell explains, especially when you consider Warren's state of mind.
The family and their attorney, Lee Merritt, say Warren was going through some type of psychosis, or a break from reality.
Dr. Samuel Fiala, Texas A&M Central Texas Associate Professor & Chair of Counseling Psychology, says an understanding of the complexities surrounding mental illness is essential when it comes to knowing how to respond.
“It’s important to understand the context of those behaviors. It’s critical in being able to deal with this situation appropriately, deescalate them and get the person the help that they need," Dr. Fiala said.
At this time, it's unclear if Warren had a history of mental illness, but Dr. Fiala explains in older adults, psychosis can be induced without much of a warning
“It’s more often something related to something organically caused, possibly medication change or a stroke or some sort of brain injury, and those can happen fairly suddenly without a lot of warning signs,” said Dr. Fiala.
The Texas Rangers say the investigation into Warren's death is still underway, and there is no additional information at this time.
“Remember that when the investigators are looking at this, when prosecutors are looking at this, what they’re going to be looking at is what would a reasonable officer have done in a similar or in that situation,” said Dr. Bracewell.
When it comes to those specialty officers like SWAT or K-9 officers, or the ones who have mental health training, Dr. Bracewell says for small- to medium-sized police forces, it's highly unlikely to have every type of specially-trained officer on every shift. She says this goes back to resources, personnel and time to dedicate to more training.
The Warren family is now making funeral preparations. Patrick Warren, Jr. has created a GoFundMe to help with expenses.