MEMPHIS, TENN. — The family of the man shot and killed by a SWAT officer in Cordova on Wednesday said he was suffering from paranoia.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is now handling the case after deputies said 20-year-old John Hunt shot at deputies after fleeing a barricade situation where he shot at deputies in Cordova.
After leading deputies on a chase, they say he waved a rifle around before he was shot and killed by the SWAT officer.
“I’m just lost. Hurt. You see this on T.V. but your child,” Hunt’s mother said.
The parents of John Hunt explained the hours before they learned their son had been shot and killed by a SWAT officer.
Hunt’s father, John Lockeridge says at one point his son called him when he was surrounded by law enforcement. Lockeridge talked to someone with the Sheriff’s Office, explaining to them his son had not been in his right mind for the last few days.
“And I told them what he was going through and I pleaded with them, don’t kill my child. He needs help,” Lockeridge said.
Hunt’s parents say he became extremely paranoid last week. They believed he smoked marijuana that was laced with something.
“I knew once he came in that day it was off the charts and I knew that he was extremely troubled,” Hunt’s mother, Chelly said.
They took him to the hospital.
“A couple hours later he called for me to come get him. When I came and got him I said, ‘did they do bloodwork? What?’ He said no. They didn’t do nothing,” Hunt’s mother said.
The paranoia continued. He thought someone was out to get him.
“Fast forward to Sunday, he said that we did something to him. That we was out to get him. I said, ‘Son I’m not out to get you. What’s going on?’ He called 911. They came here Sunday. And I said, ‘He needs some help.’ Ain’t nothing they can do about it,” Lockeridge said.
Lockridge said he pleaded with police to help but because he was over 18 he said they told him they couldn’t do anything.
Hunt packed up his things and left the home.
Millington Police say Hunt showed up to the department twice Tuesday to file a report for an assault in Memphis, but they told him the report needed to be filed in Memphis.
On the second visit officers noticed a rifle in the front seat.
Hunt drove away but officers put out a ‘Be on the Lookout’ (BOLO) alert because of Hunt’s erratic behavior.
It was the BOLO that alerted deputies late last night when they spotted Hunt’s car.
“He reached out,” Hunt’s sister said. “He reached out and I feel like there could have been procedures or training or anything that they have learned that they could’ve subdued the situation.”
Tonight while the family wants answers, they will remember Hunt as a quiet, smart young man, who wanted to be in the military and liked technology.
The family said they want to speak to law enforcement about the case and want results from a toxicology report.
They also said they never witnessed Hunt to be aggressive.