Suspect's family: Mental illness to blame in officer's shooting - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Suspect's family says mental illness to blame in officer's shooting

Edward Sample, photo courtesy Shelby County Jail. Edward Sample, photo courtesy Shelby County Jail.

(WMC-TV) – He's locked up in jail on a million dollars bond and Monday morning Edward Sample was arraigned on charges he shot a Memphis police officer.

Sample's family was at court too and they claim there are mental and medical reasons for the 19-year-old's violent behavior.

Sample appeared in court through a video arraignment as family members claimed the large bandage on his head was the result of a beating at the hands of police officers.

"He said a police officer shot him, but after they shot him they also, I guess, basically beat him," said Sample's brother Anthony Washington.

Investigators say Sample was shot Wednesday after he opened fire on Officer Josh Shearer.

Luckily, Shearer's bullet proof vest saved him from serious injury.

Police began chasing Sample after he ran bailed out of a silver Chevy Impala.

Just minutes earlier, the car's owner called police to report he had seen his vehicle after he was carjacked earlier in the week.

During his court arraignment, Sample entered a not guilty plea.

Sample's mother and brother were at court for the proceedings and afterwards they said he needs a doctor much more than he needs to go to jail.

Family members attributed Sample's violent behavior to his mental health problems and carried a file that detailed years of psychological treatment.

"I've taken him to case management," said his mother Yolanda Davis. "He's been to Southwest when he was a child. He done been to the Frayser Service Counseling Center. He's been to St. Francis on the 16th floor."

Sample's mother says her son has not been taking his medication and she believes that's why he tried to take someone's car and shot an officer.

"He said he was really out of it and he really don't even remember," said Washington. "You know, like I said, he's an ADHD patient."

Family members say they think Sample is also bi-polar.

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