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Home / Tips and Tricks / A 13-year-old boy with autism was shot dead by police after his mother asked for help coping with a “nervous breakdown”.

A 13-year-old boy with autism was shot dead by police after his mother asked for help coping with a “nervous breakdown”.



Golda Barton said her son Linden Cameron, who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, had a “nervous breakdown” earlier in the day. It had been her first day at work in nearly a year, and Linden was having trouble coping, she confirmed to CNN in an email.

Barton also confirmed that she had called the police and asked for a crisis intervention team to help cope with the situation and treat her son.

“I said, ‘Look, he’s unarmed. He’s got nothing. He just gets angry and starts screaming and screaming,'” Barton told CNN subsidiary KUTV about her call to the police. “He’s a kid trying to get attention. He doesn’t know how to regulate.”
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When the police arrived, Barton said her son had run away. She told KUTV that she heard someone scream three times as they fell to the floor, followed by several gunshots.

“Why didn’t you insult him? Why didn’t you shoot him with a rubber bullet?” Barton told the station. “He’s a little kid. Why don’t you just grab him? You’re a great cop with enormous resources.”

Salt Lake City Police Sgt. Keith Horrocks said at a press conference Saturday that officials were called to the area because a boy had had a “psychological episode and threatened some people with a gun.”
Linden Cameron

The boy fled and when police chased him, an officer fired his gun and hit the child, Horrocks said. Officers continued to provide medical assistance to the boy until medical personnel arrived, Horrocks said. According to the police, he was then taken to a local hospital.

Linden’s injuries include damage to the shoulder, ankles, bowels, bladder and colon, as well as nerve damage, Barton told CNN.

It is not clear if the boy actually had a gun or what threats the police allegedly responded to.

Barton told CNN her son was unarmed. Detective Greg Wilking, a spokesman for the Salt Lake City Police Department, told CNN Tuesday that he could not specifically speak about whether the boy had a gun or “what the threats perceived by the officers were,” and that those questions were determined by the investigation.

Linden Cameron

“Mom can say what she wants, but there is this investigation that has to take place and this process that has to take place,” Wilking said.

The incident is being investigated by a team composed mostly of officers from the West Valley City Police Department, according to Wilking. West Valley City is a suburb of Salt Lake City, both of which are part of Salt Lake County.

Once that investigation is completed, the information will be passed on to the prosecutor, who will conduct their own investigation, Wilking said. The city also has a civilian review body that investigates complaints about police behavior.

“Although the full details of this incident are not yet known as an investigation is underway, I will say that I am grateful that this young man is alive and that no one has been injured,” Salt Lake City mayor Erin Mendenhall said in a statement . according to KUTV.

“Regardless of the circumstances, what happened on Friday evening is a tragedy, and I expect this investigation to be carried out quickly and transparently for the benefit of all concerned.”


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