LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4) – The Loveland Police Department says it had a mental health professional on duty the day Alex Domina, a 19-year old with disabilities, was shot by police in his backyard and critically hurt a week ago. But it turns out that health care worker’s shift ended just before the shooting.
On Sunday a small crowd gathered to protest the shooting and how the department responds to all mental health crisis situations.
Protesters say if one of those mental health professionals was on scene during last week’s shooting — in which Domina may have had a knife — Domina may not have been shot in the abdomen three times by officers and be in the condition he is in now.
“Absolutely they should have been called in for this incident and had they been we wouldn’t have a 19 year old lying in a hospital bed in an ICU right now,” said Jen Castaneda of the Loveland Justice League.
Loveland police works with SummitStone Health Partners on mental health cases. They have two clinicians who respond to calls alongside officers.
According to SummitStone’s website, they have a pair of professionals who receive “referrals from police officers out in the field and they also listen to radio traffic to determine calls that they should respond to.”
Mari Newman, the attorney for Domina’s family, said Domina’s grandmother called police on Aug. 16and said he was smashing things. She said he might have had a kitchen knife.
“She did everything right. She told the 911 operator that he suffered from mental disabilities. She told them that he was having a mental health crisis. She told them that he could be talked down and he hadn’t hurt anybody,” Newman said.
Loveland police say they are hoping to expand then number of mental health professionals they have on duty. The Loveland City Council is considering the option.