A mentally ill Missouri woman, Stephanie Hicks, committed suicide by shooting herself in the head with an officer's gun while getting a ride to a local hospital.
The St. Louis County Police Department said that the 20-year-old woman got into a struggle with the officer over his gun. She was able to pry it from the officer's hands and inflict the fatal wound to herself.
Eric Perry had been Hick's former boyfriend. He said that she struggled with bi-polar disorder, but wanted to seek professional help. He and Hicks started to walk from his house in Alton to Christian Northeast Hospital, KSDK reported.
Around 9 a.m., a police officer pulled over and asked Hicks if she needed a lift to the hospital. Perry said he saw Hicks get into the front seat of the vehicle. Then he received a call that she was shot and killed near Dunn Road.
"She got that gun and there's no way she should have got that gun," the victim's mother, Robin Hicks, said outside the police precinct, the Daily News reported. "And I'm angry, and I'm pissed, and this is not right!"
However, police contest that story and say it was an accident.
"This is believed to have occurred after a struggle over the control of the Alton police officer's weapon while in the patrol vehicle wherein she was shot in the head and died as a result of her injury," St. Louis County police Officer Rick Eckhard said in a statement, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Chief Hayes said that the officer found Hicks walking across the Clark Bridge, which crosses the Mississippi River at Alton. He said Hicks was not suicidal, but simply walking to the hospital. The watch commander allowed the officer to drive her to her destination.
"This was all meant to be a courtesy transportation," Hayes said.
Hayes said Hicks did not say a word to the officer while she was in the car.
"For some reason that we'll never know, only God will, she decided to disarm the officer by surprising him," said Hayes, reported Fox News. It was an unexpected move by her. The officer didn't perceive her as a threat. She's a five-foot, one hundred pound girl, and nobody in their right mind would perceive a person like that to be a threat."
However, Hick's mother disagrees with the official account by police.
"I'm not going rest, and I want the Alton Police to know I'm not going to rest. I'm going to get an attorney that does wrongful death," she told reporters at her Alton home Thursday night, reported Fox News.
She confirmed that her daughter was suffering from a mental illness and said she tried to commit suicide a year ago. Recently, her daughter left a note, but did not divulge what it said. However, she still does not believe the report by the police department.
"I don't believe Alton police, and there's nothing they can say to make me believe it."
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