Man shot, killed by MPD officers identified

TBI press conference for man killed by police
(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Family members identified the man who was shot and killed by Memphis Police Department officers Wednesday night as 30-year-old Alexio Allen.

"My brother was only 30. He was a good man out here, he was a good man," his sister, Natasha Lagaite, said.

"I just can't wrap my mind around it," Carshena Lagaite said.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation took over the investigation as required by Shelby County policy.

TBI said MPD officers arrived at Allen's home after his family made multiple 911 calls, claiming he was having a mental episode and hallucinating.

"My brother wasn't mental, he was just going through something we couldn't explain," Lagaite said.

Officers said Allen did not respond to commands they gave him. They said he refused to calm down.

Officers said Allen pointed a rifle at them. They said a woman struggled with Allen to get the rifle out of his possession. At some point during the struggle, an officer shot Allen.

Click here to watch TBI's first public comments on the investigation.

Allen's family disagrees with MPD's version of the story. They said Allen did not point a gun at police; they said the gun was hidden inside the house.

"Early indication from the investigation indicates there was a struggle over the riffle with Allen and a female in the home, and that situation escalated," TBI spokesperson Susan Niland said.

That female was Allen's fiancee, Deborah Nesbitt. She said that story is not true.

She said she told police there was a gun inside the house. She said she went inside to get the gun and give it to police.

"The officers broke off and ran," Nesbitt said. "[They] left me standing there with the weapon."

Then she said Allen grabbed the gun.

"At that point, I turned around and I grabbed it back," Nesbitt recalled. "I said, 'Don't do nothing wrong. Don't shoot! Don't do nothing wrong.'"

That is when, according to the family, a police officer shot and killed Allen.

"He didn't have a weapon drawn on him for them to kill him like that," Lagaite said. "He didn't deserve to die like that."

TBI's policy is to not identify officers involved in shootings they are investigating. Memphis Police Department has the jurisdiction to identify the officer; they have not done so at this time.

The department also has not said how many shots were fired or where the bullets hit Allen. All of those details are presumably still being investigated, but Nesbitt's fiancee said she already knows the answer to one of those questions.

"When the man shot him his back was turned," Nesbitt said. "He was facing me."

TBI said it is very early in the investigation. They said as soon as they finish investigating, they will turn all of their findings over to District Attorney Amy Weirich's office.

Allen's family said they wish only paramedics, and not the police, had shown up. They have a lot of wishes, but mostly, they wish their loved one was not dead.

MPD Crisis Intervention 

Memphis police have been recognized nationally for their Crisis Intervention Training. PBS Newshour featured officers trained in dealing with people who have mental illness.

Earlier this month in Midtown, police safely took a man into custody who had a gun and was involved in an hour-long standoff with police while having a mental episode.

"They could have let us calm him down and get him walking towards the door, so he could get into the ambulance," said Lagaite.

But Allen may now be a part of a troubling statistic.

According to the Treatment Advocacy Center, those with mental illness are 16 times more likely to be shot by police.

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