SOUTH HILL, Va. – A mother blames police for the death of her son, a 44-year-old man with schizophrenia, who died after he was shot with a Taser by a South Hill Police Officer on Jan. 20, 2017.
The Mecklenburg Sheriff’s Office was following up on an emergency custody order requested by the family of Sabin Jones.
Deputies said Jones refused to exit his vehicle when they approached him at a convenience store in the 800 block of North Mecklenburg Avenue.
“He backed into one of the deputies’ vehicles and then began driving forward, at which time additional deputies, with the assistance of South Hill Police, were able to block the Camaro from leaving the parking lot,” said State Police in a press release.
After repeated attempts to talk to Jones, police say he refused to exit the locked vehicle and became increasingly agitated.
That’s when multiple car windows were broken, investigators said, to prevent Jones from harming himself inside the vehicle.
When Jones exited the vehicle in “an aggressive manner towards the deputies and officers” and was “combative,” a Taser was deployed.
“One of the South Hill Police Officers deployed his Taser to bring Jones under control,” said State Police. “After the deployment, Jones remained non-compliant with the deputies’ and officers’ commands as they attempted to handcuff him.”
Police said that Jones also banged his head against the ground.
He was determined he wouldn’t go to the hospital.
Smith said most officers in the area know about her son's mental health issues.
Jones was put on life support. Four days later, Smith received a call she never thought she would take.
"There was nothing else they could do for him and they needed my permission to cut the machine off,” she said.
Smith said that when her son turned 24, he "started having illusions, he started seeing people and things that weren't there, talking out his head."
For the next 20 years Jones took his medicine on and off again.
His mother believes he was off his medication when deputies arrived, and that’s why he was so combative.
"They tased him, not once, not twice, but three times and the third time they ased him, my sister said he went into convulsions,” Smith said.
Smith said it shouldn't have come to that since police had past dealings with her son.
"Yes they knew his issues, they've been dealing with him, I don't know how many years,” she said.
"No words in the dictionary for when a mother loses her child,” she said.
The entire incident was captured on multiple police cameras, according to law enforcement sources, who also said the investigation will show the officers responded correctly.
The Virginia State Police are now handling the investigation at the request of the sheriff.