Police: Man shot by Troy officer had mental issues
Troy – A man fatally shot by police this week had a history of mental issues and was hospitalized at least three times since last July following three separate police visits to his home because of his reported violent behavior, police said Tuesday.
The man, identified Tuesday as Robert George Issa, 23, was shot outside his Saddle Brook Court home by an officer after he shrugged off a stun gun deployment and lunged at the officer with two knives, according to a preliminary police investigation. The shooting has been turned over to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office for investigation.
“The officer that fired the shots in yesterday’s incident is on administrative leave,” said Troy Police Sgt. Megan Broderick Lehman. “Two other officers who were present on the scene are not on administrative leave.”
Officers involved in shooting incidents are routinely placed on leave pending the outcome of investigations. It also is routine to have another police department investigate a shooting involving an officer.
Police records show Troy officers were called to the address Dec. 30, 2017, by Issa’s family, who reported he was “going beserk,” Lehman said. Issa pushed a younger brother and knocked his eyeglasses off his face in the incident.
Police also were called to the address by family on July 19 and July 22, 2017, she said.
“Family confirmed there were underlying mental health issues in each of the incidents but after the last one in December, they indicated they feared he might injure someone,” she said.
In each of the previous contacts with police, Issa was removed from the home by ambulance and taken to a hospital for treatment, Lehman said.
“He was not criminally charged (in any of the cases) but due to his mental health problems was placed on diversion so he could seek the help the family said he needed,” she said.
It was not known how long Issa spent in hospitals or what treatment his family sought for him.
One of the July incidents occurred when he stopped taking his medication, according to police reports, and another stemmed from an argument Issa had when he was apparently planning to go to law school and was denied $10,000 for tuition and financial help to live on his own.
Issa’s family has declined to be interviewed by reporters.
In Monday’s incident, police were dispatched to 4900 block of Saddle Brook Court just before 7:25 a.m. on a 911 call from a family member who said a relative was being assaultive, police said. Occupants of the home had locked themselves in bedrooms for safety and told police Issa was “screaming, being violent and hitting family members.”
Upon seeing a police car, Issa ran right at it, police reported. An officer in an unmarked car turned on lights and sirens to distract Issa. At that point, he tried to get into the unmarked car, but failed because it was locked.
When he headed back toward the marked car, an officer deployed a Taser but it had no effect. He was subsequently shot multiple times.
One woman in the home was treated for minor injuries.
“We were requested by (Troy Police) Chief Gary Mayer to investigate the shooting and we will have no further comment until it is completed and turned over to the prosecutor’s office for review,” said Oakland County Undersheriff Michael McCabe.