A Killeen man is hospitalized following an officer-involved shooting Friday afternoon, police said.
Spokeswoman Carroll Smith said the Killeen Police Department received a call at 11:38 a.m. in regard to a suicidal subject.
When an officer arrived in the 4500 block of Golden Gate Drive and attempted to talk to the man, Smith said he charged toward the officer wielding two knives. The officer was forced to discharge his weapon, shooting the man.
Norman Travis Sr. told the Herald he’s been friends with the man, whose identity is being withheld pending review of the case by the Bell County district attorney’s office, since the early 1980s. He said the man is a veteran dealing with “grief and depression” from not being able to find steady employment.
“I was at the hospital with his wife, and his wife told me he was acting normal all last night and this morning,” Travis said. “I talked to him several times about finding steady employment after his military service because I went through the same thing. He was having grief and depression about that.”
Travis said the man has been unable to obtain steady employment and dealing with depression since leaving the military in 2009. “I had been talking to him about seeking medical help for his depression, but he didn’t want to be labeled as crazy,” he said. “He served three different tours in Iraq, I would attribute this to post-traumatic stress.”
Travis said the man’s wife told him he was “laying in the street praying” when a neighbor called police. “People don’t understand if they don’t know a person, especially if you’ve never been in the military. It’s hard to understand what a soldier goes through. His brain has been traumatized. He’ll never be the same.”
Smith said the man was immediately transported to Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood after the shooting. He was later transferred to Scott & White Hospital in Temple and was in critical condition Friday night following surgery.
The officer was placed on administrative leave, per KPD protocol, and his name was not released.