JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The family of a man JSO said it had no choice but to shoot and kill spoke with Action News Jax on Monday about their son's life and the mental illness from which they said he suffered.
JSO said it had to use deadly force with Bruce Clark, 37, when he sprayed an officer in the face with wasp killer at the Walmart in the River City Marketplace on Friday night.
"My son is dead," Bruce's mother, Marcia Clark said. "He didn't have to be shot."
Police say Clark also had a 15-inch baton and knife on him that night.
His family said he had been living on the street and suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. They wish nonlethal measures had been attempted first.
Clark's family traveled 26 hours from Maine to get some answers and lay their son to rest.
"He's gone," Marcia Clark said. "It's not fair."
"It's just sad to know that it had to end up like this," said Bruce's father, Timothy Clark.
JSO said Clark was crouched as if to hide something then turned to the officer, shooting wasp and hornet spray in the officer's face.
That's when JSO said Officer S. Doreseliun fired three shots, killing Clark.
"Once he becomes incapacitated, that encounter becomes an armed encounter for both individuals," said JSO Chief of Investigations T.K. Waters. "And Officer Doreseliun, knowing that, reverted back to his training, had to use deadly force in this situation."
JSO said Doreseliun has been with the force three and a half years and this is his first shooting. They said he had not yet been issued a body camera.
JSO said Clark had been Baker Acted twice locally and did have a criminal history in Maine.
His parents don't believe he would knowingly harm anyone.
"He had paranoid schizophrenia for 20 years and he was only 37 years old. He suffered with it," Marcia Clark said. "That's something that mental illness does to people."
Cox Media Group