Experts talk mental health, PTSD after Marine is accused of stabbing officer

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Christopher Roby, the man accused of stabbing an officer in Orange Mound, has been charged with eleven counts of attempted first-degree murder.

An affidavit says police also later discovered what appeared to be pipe bombs in his house.

Memphis Police say when they pulled up to the Orange Mound house on Tuesday evening, they soon feared for their lives.

Reports say Roby, 33, was on the porch with his mother pointing an unknown object at officers.

Police say his mom was the one who called them to Carrington Road, saying her son was armed and acting erratically.

MPD says the suspect threw what appeared to be fireworks at them, went inside the house and came back out with a knife.

He's accused of stabbing one of the officers twice on the left side.

The officer was rushed to the hospital but is going to be okay.

"All of us are praying for the recovery of the officer. We pray that he'll recover fully and may return to service," said Dr. Thomas Kirchberg, the Chief Psychologist at VA Medical Center Memphis.

Police say Roby is a Marine who did two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.

Along with coming back from combat, he's a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic.

Dr. Kirchberg says they're constantly working to help officers better understand what veterans go through with their Crisis Intervention Team.

They have psychologists present at the police academy and also bring officers to the VA's Office so they can speak with veterans and hear their stories.

"Veterans get exposed to blasts that change their brains. The blasts literally, organically change their brains," Dr. Kirchbeg said.

The VA's Office also teaches officers different ways to approach and communicate with veterans in tense situations.

"Whether it's PTSD or otherwise, there's always going to be a sigma about it. That somebody's just being crazy, they need to get over it or that they can white knuckle their way through it," said Dr. Rita Eileen Todd, a clinical psychologist at VA Medical Center Memphis.

She says going to war can cause long-lasting effects, such as nightmares, avoidance or strong negative emotions.

"Somebody might constantly be looking for threats and maybe feeling irritable, probably not concentrating or sleeping well," Dr. Todd said.

She says it's important to offer veterans support and encourage them to get help before someone loses a life or gets seriously hurt.

Roby has a history of assault charges, including being accused of shooting his cousin.

He’ll be back in court in a week.


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