Tulsa Family Heartbroken After Loved One Is Accused Of Killing Brother
A Tulsa family is heartbroken after they say a loved one who has mental illness shot and killed their brother this week.
The family said they feared something like this might happen and they tried to get help, but couldn’t.
Latoya Speed said she knows her brother Clifton didn’t mean to shoot and kill her other brother, Bryon.
She said Clifton is mentally ill and she called the Oklahoma Mental Health Hotline begging for help, then her brother was killed just two hours later.
It happened at a home near 46th Street North and Boulder around 1 a.m. Tuesday.
“Byron was a good man. And Clifton, he was just trouble and needed some help,” said Latoya. “I didn’t just lose one brother; I lost two. I want the world to know we come from a good family.”
Latoya said she can’t even explain the pain her family feels right now.
“It hurts me, because this all could have been prevented before any of this took place because I kept telling them, ‘I am scared,’” said Latoya.
She and her siblings were at their dad’s house Monday night to protect him from Clifton, Latoya said.
She said Clifton had already assaulted their dad earlier in the day and was making threats. That’s when Latoya called the Oklahoma Mental Health Hotline or COPES, asking for someone to come out.
“She says, ‘We will come out in the morning,’ I said, ‘No I need you to come out now,’” said Latoya.
Clifton got into a fight with her brother Bryon and that’s when Byron was killed, she said.
Latoya said she didn’t want to call police because she was worried it would escalate the situation.
“I pleaded with them because I kept saying, ‘I need some help. I need some help,’ because I felt that something was going to happen,” said Latoya.
Latoya said COPES called back the next day after hearing about what happened and offered their condolences, but she said it’s too late.
COPES told News On 6 they told the family to call police, because due to Oklahoma Title 43-A Mental Health Law: “only law enforcement is allowed to involuntarily remove an individual with a severe mental illness from their environment.”
COPES released a statement to us saying: “We are deeply saddened by this tragedy. The caller contacted us instead of law enforcement asking us to remove an individual from a home. If there is a threat of immediate danger, call the police or 911. And we remind our community that if you or a loved one are experiencing mental health challenges, we urge you to call 988 or seek professional help.”
“It is just terrible to even think about it. I dream about it all night long. Man, it is very, very hard to lose your baby like that. He took care of everything around here,” said Byron and Clifton’s father, Kenneth. “I don’t think he meant this either but at that time we were all mad. We were mad at him and stuff and I don’t think he meant it.”
The family said they wanted to share the truth about what happened that night to make sure this doesn’t happen to another family.
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