CARROLLTON, Texas - The family of a man fatally shot by Carrollton police wants to know more about what lead to the shooting.
Relatives of 28-year-old Sterling Humbert said he suffered from mental illness, and police should have taken that into account when they approached him.
The police chief has declined to release video of the shooting, but said his officers’ lives were threatened and the officer who fired was forced to do so to save his life and his partner's life.
Humbert's mother and sister were with their attorney Wednesday to call for more answers from Carrollton police.
“I saw the cop cars and the spot where my son had been killed,” said Brenda Humbert, Sterling’s mother.
She described how, after hearing gunfire, she drove to the place near her home where her son was shot and killed Saturday evening.
Police said they tried to pull Sterling over for outstanding felony warrants related to heroin and meth charges.
He lead them on a short chase, according to police, then suddenly stopped, jumped out of his truck with a gun drawn, and approached officers in a combative manner.
“He did have a mental illness that he struggled with daily,” Brenda added..
The Humbert's attorney, Lee Merritt, said Humbert — an Army veteran — suffered from schizophrenia and was on and off his medication.
Humbert had several run-ins with police, Merritt said, and therefore officers should have known of his mental health condition, and had the right mental health professionals on-hand to assist when they attempted to pull him over Saturday.
“They have simply offered that they saw a man with a gun and decided to use deadly force, and that is not the correct way to handle someone with a mental health condition,” Merritt added.
Merritt said police should have used de-escalation tactics, even if they were faced with a gun.
Police said there simply wasn’t enough time. After only nine seconds, Humbert was pointing the gun at officers, refusing commands to drop his weapon, according to police.
“Officers are trained in de-escalation techniques and employ them daily. Unfortunately, there are some situations, such as this one, that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving where de-escalation is impossible.”
Police said they’re not releasing dash cam and body cam video of the incident to protect the grand jury process.
“We just want justice to be served and the truth to be told,” said Desiree Humbert, Sterling’s sister. “We want to know what happened and why it happened.”
Carrollton police said the family is welcome to watch the video.
As for the weapon, relatives said Humbert purchased the gun and had it legally. Police are not saying if it was loaded.
A search by FOX 4 did not uncover any felony convictions for Humbert.