On Tuesday, Memphis police say 26-year-old Jarrad Nathan opened fire inside the Fox 13 building on Highland Avenue before taking cover inside the adjoining Ubee’s restaurant and holding them at bay.
Apparently while using the restroom at Ubee’s, Nathan went live on Facebook and announced that he wanted to speak with individuals from the local news station. Those closest to him have described his purported behavior as a “cry for help.”
The police have filed charges of serious assault and endangerment against Nathan. On Tuesday, Nathan’s family raced to the University of Michigan location to convey to authorities and the media that Nathan was having mental health problems after being a shooting victim.
Nathan’s mother explained the family’s history of mental health issues as police took her son into custody. “I think the mental health started at 13, 14 years old,” said Nathan’s mother Marsha McKinney. “It started then.”
According to McKinney, her son was admitted to Lakeside Behavioral Health System in October after disclosing he had been shot multiple times by a friend of his father’s. “My son is drowning, and his mama is going to get him some help. Today,” said McKinney.
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“Now I’ve got to put my foot in the trenches and do what needs to be done and have to take care of him.” One by one, relatives and friends of his arrived at the Highland Strip location. Mama Dee, a.k.a. local activist Sharon Mourning, claimed that Nathan has been disabled ever since the shooting.
“It’s hard for him to try to get a job,” said Mourning. “It’s hard for him to be self-sufficient. This is what’s plaguing our youth today. Coping with the afterfact of being shot, this is a prime example.” Brandy Flynn, a local expert on mental health, encourages everyone to open out about their own experiences with mental illness in their families and communities.
“We really talk about mental health only when two things happen, when someone commits suicide or a situation like this when something extreme happens with gun violence and it could’ve taken someone else’s life,” said Flynn.
“A lot of times when you ask people how are you doing, we get the cliche, ‘I’m fine. I’m okay.’ But a lot of times, we’re not, because we feel like nobody really cares about what I have to say or if I tell you the truth, are you going to judge me? We just really need to be there for people, not judge them and let them know they are not there alone.”
Nathan’s parents have expressed their desire for him to receive treatment rather than incarceration.
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