OSCEOLA, Ark. (WREG) — Family members say the man fatally shot by Osceola officers Wednesday morning had mental health issues, and police should have handled the situation differently.
Angela Jones said her late husband Keivion Jones suffered from mental illness for the last ten years and insists Osceola Police knew that before they fatally shot him Wednesday morning.
“It was schizophrenia and bipolar,” she said. “That’s not the type of force that law enforcement is supposed to use on mental patients, you know.”
Mississippi County Circuit Court records show in March 2021 he was arrested for felony reckless burning. A handwritten note concerning Jones reads “Needs Mental Health Screening.”
The charge was later dismissed, but Thursday no one would release information regarding any mental evaluation of Jones, citing confidentiality laws.
Jones’ uncle Andrew Alexander witnessed the officer-involved shooting.
“He was scared for his life,” he said. “They shot him 15 times in the back and he fell in the doorway right there face first.”
It reportedly happened when police came to the home after Jones was suspected of earlier pointing a rifle at a clerk at this convenience store.
“My nephew wouldn’t hurt a flea. First of all, the thing didn’t have the clip in it. We found the clip later on in his truck,” Alexander said.
Alexander said the assault-style rifle his nephew was holding when officers arrived did not have a clip in it and that Jones did point the weapon toward them and told officers he had a license to carry the rifle.
“And he turned around. When he turned around that’s when they opened fire,” he said.
But one question remains. With Keivion Jones’ reported mental health issues, should he have had access to an assault weapon?
“He was fine. He was fine,” Angela Jones said.
WREG has viewed security camera video from the convenience store incident where it appears Keivion Jones is holding an assault-style rifle with a magazine attached and pointing at the store clerk.
It’s unknown what happened after Jones left the store and before his fatal encounter with police.
Arkansas State Police are investigating.