TULSA -- Family members of Joshua Anthony Barre said he suffered from Bipolar Disorder and needed his medication refilled.
Barre was shot and killed by police Friday. Police first encountered the 29-year old when they went to his house to deliver a civil pick up order for mental illness signed by a judge.
Dr. Jason Beaman, chair of Psychiatry at the OSU Center for Health Sciences, said a civil pick up order can be issued for several reasons, including family members reaching out because of out of the ordinary behavior or because the subject has not been to doctors appointments. He said the order allows sheriff’s deputies to bring the subject in for evaluation.
Beaman said someone who is bipolar, like Barre’s family said he was, can act irrationally when they do not have the proper amount of medication in their system.
“They could either be acting on the voices in their head, doing things that the voices are telling them to do,” Beaman said. “They can be acting on delusions, perhaps that someone is out to get them and they want to protect themselves or they feel that it is their job to protect somebody else.”
Beaman said talking to someone who is in that state can be like talking to a brick wall.
A spokesman for Tulsa Police said Tulsa Sheriff’s Deputies and a Tulsa Police Officer all fired shots at Barres. He allegedly had two knives in his hand when he entered a convenience store in the 4600 block of North Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard.
“If someone is immediately threatening then taking time to talk them down may place someone’s life in danger and it depends on the nature of their thinking,” Beaman explained. “If they are acting on their delusion, it can be very difficult to change their thinking.”
He said he hopes every possibility was exhausted before lethal force was used, but ultimately people with mental illness can be at increased risk to hurt others and themselves.
Mental Health Association Oklahoma said they are willing to offer support to anyone struggling with the aftermath of Barre’s death. They can be reached at 918-585-1213 Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.
Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Severe Weather, School Closings, Daily Headlines and Daily Forecasts.