A 13-year-old autistic boy has been shot multiple times after his mother called the police for help when he was having a mental breakdown in Salt Lake City.
Golda Barton called the police for a crisis intervention team (CIT) when her son Linden Cameron, who has Asperger’s, started suffering severe separation anxiety over her going back to work.
Barton said that police told her the CIT would ‘deescalate the situation using the most minimal force possible’ at her home in the Glendale neighbourhood.
But she said that within less than five minutes of the police arriving she heard an officer shout at the boy ‘get on the ground,’ before several shots were fired.
Linden Cameron, from Glendale, Salt Lake City, Utah, was shot several times by police on Friday night after his mother called for assistance dealing with a psychiatric episode
Linden Cameron, who remains in hospital, suffered injuries to his shoulders, both ankles, intestines and bladder
Barton told KUTV: ‘I said, he’s unarmed, he doesn’t have anything, he just gets mad and he starts yelling and screaming. He’s a kid he’s trying to get attention, he doesn’t know how to regulate.’
She added: ‘He’s a small child. Why didn’t you just tackle him? He’s a baby. He has mental issues.’
She said the officers told her to wait outside while they want inside the property and then soon after she heard the gunshots.
Barton said she thought her son was dead because the officers didn’t immediately say what had happened.
In addition, she claims she heard one of the officers say to the other: ‘He’s just a child, what are you doing?’
Linden Cameron, who remains in hospital, suffered injuries to his shoulders, both ankles, intestines and bladder.
Salt Lake City Police Department, who are investigating the circumstances, said that it was called to reports of a ‘violent psych issue’ and that the teenager was ‘making threats to some folks with a weapon.’
There was no indication over whether a weapon had been found, but police said they were not certain there wasn’t one.
Golda Barton said she called police when her autistic son suffered a mental breakdown because she was going back to work
Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said in a statement Sunday: ‘While the full details of this incident are yet to be released as an investigation takes place, I will say that I am thankful this young boy is alive and no one else was injured.
‘No matter the circumstances, what happened on Friday night is a tragedy and I expect this investigation to be handled swiftly and transparently for the sake of everyone involved.’
Linden Cameron’s father drove down from Iowa immediately after hearing the news, Barton said.
‘He’s an amazing father,’ she told KUTV.