A bizarre and tragic police shooting in the tiny Florida town of Gretna has residents there wondering how a police officer called to a home to help a mentally ill man take his medication ended up taking the young man into a bathroom where he shot the man dead, firing at least three shots.
Kaldrick Donald, 24, died as a result of the shooting and the police officer, Sergeant Charles Brown, was also reportedly injured in some sort of a physical altercation with the mentally ill man. But Brown was treated at a nearby hospital and released and has since been placed on paid “administrative” leave from the police department in Gretna, pending an investigation of the fatal shooting.
Donald’s mother, Juanita Donald, had called police in the past to help with her severely troubled son. She told a local TV station that the normal procedure was for police to take Kaldrick Donald to The Apalachee Center, a nearby behavioral health facility, where professionals then administered the necessary medication for Kaldrick’s condition.
The exact nature of Kaldrick Donald’s mental illness has not been made clear and, indeed, details of the police shooting that ended his life on October 28 remain sketchy. But what is clear is that this time, when Juanita Donald called police for assistance with her son at around 9:30 am last Tuesday, something went terribly wrong.
According to police, Kaldrick Donald and Charles Brown somehow got into a fight. But according to Juanita Donald, her mentally ill son “didn’t want to be bothered” and was simply trying to walk away from the police officer when the physical altercation began.
That altercation, she said, was started by Brown who grabbed her son and first shot him with a taser. At that point, the situation took a deadly turn.
“He rushed my son off in the bathroom and I heard three shots,” Juanita Donald said. “I was like, ‘You shot my son.’ And he was like, ‘I had to.’ I said, ‘No, you didn’t have to.”
The mom said that after the shots she heard her son say, “‘I want my mama,’ after he shot him, and then I didn’t hear anything else.”
The Gretna police, though they released Brown’s name the day after the shooting, did not release any further details about the officer’s background or experience on the police force. A local TV report on the Gretna, Florida police shooting is below.