ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The mother of a man shot by St. Petersburg Police wants to know why officers, who she called to help her son, ended up killing him.
Sunday evening, officers shot Art Dixon after they say he charged at them with a pair of scissors. Dixon, who was mentally ill and physically handicapped, threatened to harm himself before police showed up.
"I am numb. I can't believe they did this to him," said Lydia Andrews, Dixon's mother. "He did have issues, and he is bipolar, but that's no reason to kill him!"
On Monday, St. Petersburg Police would not comment on the investigation. A spokesman said they are waiting for the state attorney's office to release its final report.
Both officers involved are on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure in officer-involved shootings.
"You've got to assess that situation in a hyper second," said Joe Smith, Coordinator of the Southeastern Public Safety Police Academy at St. Petersburg College.
Recruits at the academy spend hours and hours in the shooting range training for deadly force scenarios.
Smith won't talk specifically about this case, but says typically recruits train to eliminate a lethal threat, regardless of the suspect's state of mind.
"If you have a situation where it's a deadly force situation, it's a deadly force situation no matter what capabilities, mentally, that person posses," he said.
During the academy, recruits also learn how to deal with people who are mentally ill, hopefully before it reaches a deadly force situation.
In Art Dixon's case, that didn't happen, according to police.
His mother believes it could have happened, had the officers been properly trained.
"I'm flabbergasted that perhaps the training isn't there," she said. "Why wouldn't it be there?"
ABC Action News reached out to St. Petersburg Police multiple times to determine what kind of training its officers go through to deal with these situations, but a spokesman said it's not the appropriate time to discuss the department's policy and training.
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