The May 1, 2012 sniper shooting of Andrew Messina by the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department has raised many questions in my mind. It is apparent that, on that evening, Andrew Messina was a suicidal 16 year old. Among my questions are the following:
1. Were any mental health professionals or suicide prevention professionals involved or consulted in any discussions with Andrew Messina that evening as opposed to a Cherokee County hostage negotiator? If not, should this not be considered for future policy?
2. Should law enforcement be looking into non-lethal means of resolving crises like this one as opposed to shooting to kill this young man with a bullet through his heart? Could there have been a shot to wound and disable instead of kill instantly? A two minute internet