Baltimore police had a shoot out Thursday Morning with a man who is said was looking for death. Allegedly Tyrone Banks spent two days taunting police and finally getting what he was looking for. What happened leading up to the chase?
Well a close friend of Banks told WBALTV he was mentally and emotionally unstable. Suffering from schizophrenia and not wanting to take his medication due to the side effects and the stigma of it. Banks friend also stated he was having suicidal thoughts and figured taunting the police would help end his misery. The suicide by cops mission started Tuesday, as police officials state after stealing his girlfriends car and going out, Banks begin taunting with the police for two days. The first incident involved him pointing a gun at them. Another report of the same vehicle tried to hit an officer during a traffic stop with another civilian. Later Tuesday evening the vehicle lead police on a high speed car chase. The car chase was called off for the safety of citizens and other officers as the chase proceeded in a residential area. By Wednesday police knew the type of person Banks was.
Court officials state he was accused of assault on an officer and mental health issues however the case was expunged as the courts found Banks to not to be criminally responsible. Sounds like the young man has had a run in with police for a while now. The friend stated Banks was in and out of the Spring Grove Hospital because of his mental and emotional state. Two warrants were issued for the 30 year old according to Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison. Wednesday night Police spotted Banks in a car fitting the same description as the vehicle from Tuesdays chase. Police say they had two encounters with Tyrone, the last encounter resulted in a shoot out with about 10 officers. One officer was reportedly shot in the leg but survived with no life threatening issues, no other injuries from officers were reported. It's unknown how many of the officers fired their weapon but a video from a bystander shows there was a lot of police and you can hear a lot of shooting. Banks was shot and taken to John Hopkins Hospital were he later died. The friend who spoke with the I-team states "The voices in his (Banks) head was stronger than his will to try to do the right thing." "He couldn't deal with everything. The reality of life."
Banks was survived by his girlfriend and three children. As mental health awareness is such a taboo in the African American community, its imperative mental stability gets addressed to avoid tragedies like this. I have so many questions, regarding this case. It's really sad and to know there are ways things like this could be avoided. If you know someone who is struggling with life issues, unusual behavior or thinking of suicide call the suicide national hot line 1-800-273-8255.