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Mentally Ill Drug Addict shot to Death by Vancouver Police

Written by DeShawn McQueen on Monday, 06 August 2012. Posted in Breaking News, Alcohol, Heroin

Mentally Ill Drug Addict shot to Death by Police

On July 22, 2011, 48 year old Darrell Elroy Barnes died as a result of complications he suffered after he was shot by Vancouver police officers.

Barnes was seen walking along a public street in downtown Vancouver with a machete knife.

When police saw that the man was waiving the machete they suspected that he may be of harm to himself or to others so they approached the man and requested that he drop the machete. When it appeared to officers that Barnes had declined the request, they hit the man with six beanbag rounds.

Despite the fact that police had hit the man with the beanbags he not only remained on his feet but advanced toward Vancouver authorities swinging the machete blade. As a result, two police officers fired their pistols, shooting Barnes. Paramedics arrived to transport Barnes to the hospital where he was ultimately pronounced dead.

It was later revealed that Barnes was dually diagnosed with mental illnesses and a drug addict. He had not been receiving treatment for his bipolar diagnosis or his schizophrenia diagnosis during the several months that led up to the shooting.

The media was notified that the British Columbia Ministry of Social Development informed the coroner’s office that they were aware of Barnes because they provided him with income assistance.

According to statements from the Ministry, in 2008 Barnes informed them that he was a drug addict and a manic depressive, and frequently suffered from seizures. Additionally, a doctor noted that Barnes suffered from anxiety.

Meanwhile, Barnes was diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in 2009. Yet, at the time that Barnes was shot to death by Vancouver police officers, not only had he not filled a prescription for at least a full year, he also had no contact with a physician.

With that said, on Monday, authorities began an investigation inquiring into whether or not the officers had any responsibility to prevent Barnes death or whether they should receive training to prevent similarly-situated potential deaths.

At an inquest held on Monday, it was explained that Barnes lived life as an isolated man, without contact from his son or his parents.

A psychiatrist evaluation depicted him as a chronic drug addict with low self-esteem who had once attempted to kill himself.

As well, toxicology reports performed subsequent to his death revealed heroin, alcohol and cocaine were all in Barne’s system.

If you or someone that you know is struggling with mental health and drug or alcohol addiction issues, please call us now.

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About the Author

DeShawn McQueen

DeShawn McQueen

DeShawn McQueen is a staff writer at Recovery Now Newspaper and, an informative newspaper that serves as a resource for persons of all stages of drug and alcohol treatment, by giving them access to relevant and necessary information so that they may live balanced and substance-free lifestyles. DeShawn graduated from Wayne State University with Bachelor of Science degrees in psychology and premedical sciences. He holds a Juris Doctors degree in law from Valparaiso University School of Law. DeShawn’s writing and research has been published in such academic journals as Behavioral Pharmacology and Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior among others. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

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