Family of suspect in Akron officer-involved shooting speaks out about mental illness

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AKRON, Ohio (WJW) — The family of a man shot dead by Akron police officers says he had a long history of mental illness.

Relatives of Mohammad Isaifan, 40, of Akron are still in disbelief.

“More than anything, he loved his daughter. That’s all he cared about. Outside of her, he loved motorcycles,” said Ammar Hussein, cousin.

Isaifan was killed in an officer-involved shooting Sunday morning. Akron police fatally shot him when he pulled out a handgun after they tried to search him for a weapon.

“Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, these things need to be taken seriously. Here in Akron, if you notify police, they will work with you, they put together a plan. They talk to you, your family, doctors,” said Hussein.

Hussein was his cousin and best friend and called him Mo. He says Isaifan came to the United States from Jordan 22 years ago. Despite getting an education and having a family, he struggled with mental illness for years.

“This time around, he thought the world was jealous of him. It led him to believe he was a police officer or some sort of peace officer. The scarier thing is that somebody sold him guns on the street,” said Hussein.

Akron Police later discovered more than 2,000 rounds of ammunition at his apartment.

Isaifan had past convictions for impersonating a police officer and inducing panic.

“First and foremost, we have to give our thanks to the Akron Police department for acting swiftly, acting fast. At the end of the day, two men had their lives possibly on the line,” said Hussein.

Hussein says he is not justifying his cousin’s actions. He just hopes that people who know someone with mental health problems can learn from them.

“If you see these signs, act now. If not, you are going to be my situation where you have to bury your best friend,” said Hussein.

Continuing coverage, here.

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