Family Feels Officers Did Not Have To Shoot, Kill Knife-Wielding Man


UPDATED: Monday November 18, 2013 6:26 PM

The family of the man shot and killed by Columbus police officers is speaking with 10TV.

Officers say Jason White, 31 was wielding a knife when he lunged at officers in the 2100 block of Gables Lake Drive Sunday morning.

White suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and paranoid schizophrenia, according to family members.

His mother, Patti Stevens-Rucker, says her son is an Army veteran who served overseas and was never quite the same when he came back.

Stevens-Rucker, however, disputes the allegations that White was aggressive with officers.

She describes her son as considerate and sensitive but troubled after he recently served a tour of duty in Iraq.

"He was frightened, very bad he always thought somebody was following him or trying to kill him and so when he went out he took knives in his pocket for protection because he didn't have any guns," said Stevens-Rucker.

Columbus police say early Sunday morning he was armed with knives when he entered a woman's unlocked apartment at Bayside Commons.

She called police saying he didn't threaten her but wasn't making any sense.

A responding officer says White threatened him with a knife. That officer used a stun gun, but White took off.

Two other officers confronted him and said they were forced to shoot.

White died at the scene.

"We shoot to stop the threat, sometimes the threat can be controlled in a non-lethal way but that all depends on the actions of the suspect at the time," said Columbus Police Sergeant Rich Weiner.

White's family wasn't there, but they say they know in their heart he wasn't a threat.

"I'm sure they've encountered plenty of people with knives they haven't killed, I'm sure of that," said White's father Howard Rucker.

This is the 16th Columbus Police involved shooting this year and the fourth fatal. The officers involved in White's case range in experience from one to 15 years on the force.

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