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4 Va. officers shoot mentally ill man

Editor's Note — Officers are increasingly finding themselves challenged with handling calls involving emotionally disturbed people (EDPs). This comes as no surprise given the fact that mental health support budgets continue to be squeezed and treatment and housing facilities continue to be hard pressed to keep their doors open. Here are 5 S.M.A.R.T. tips for approaching the emotionally disturbed.

By Theresa Vargas
The Washington Post

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Thomas Pierson Sr. spoke of hearing voices and lately would sit by himself in the dark all day, so his family was not completely shocked yesterday when he didn't drop the shotgun after Prince William County police officers surrounded him.

"He wasn't stupid. If you got four officers with weapons around you, and you're told to put it down, you better do it," said his son, Thomas Pierson Jr. "He knew what he was doing."

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