Man arrested for threat of mass violence turned in by family that tried to get him help
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The family of a Hutchinson man arrested on a domestic terrorism charge Tuesday turned him in, leading to an arrest they said was in large part a result of an inability to get help for him. Andrew Patterson, 24, was arrested after the Hutchinson Police Department received info that he made threats against his place of employment.
Wednesday, Patterson’s grandmother and aunt told Eyewitness News the 24-year-old needed help concerning his mental health for years, but that escalated in the last couple months.
Patterson’s aunt, Patricia Woods, turned over information on her nephew to police in a last-ditch effort to not only help others, but also to save Patterson.
“I was told there was a book that lists the names of people he wanted to kill. And I knew I couldn’t let that happen,” Woods said.
She said the family tried “for quite some time to get him help.”
“Nothing has gotten through to anyone to help us with him,” Woods said.
That included going to police in April. Patterson’s grandmother, Judy Murray, said they told her there was nothing they could do, all while his mental health continued to deteriorate.
“He had thoughts of suicide by a police officer. He wanted to die so badly that he wanted to. He has a BB gun that looks really realistic. And he’d imagine running into a police car and then, having you know, when the police got out, he would pull out that BB gun in the hopes that they would kill him,” Murray said.
Patterson’s family said he recently checked himself into a hospital for a week, but was released. They were seeking help from Horizons Mental Health Center, but on Wednesday, after he made threats to family members, they feared for his safety and their own.
“As far as I’m concerned, it’s the system as a whole that’s failed him, and getting him the help that he needed, even though they knew he needed it,” Murray said. “So, why couldn’t police do more to help him before stopping him and pointing guns at him and scaring him to death? And ow going in there telling him he’s going to jail for life?”
Patterson’s family said he often wrote things down to deal with thoughts and feelings he was having. They said that is what police found containing a plan to kill people he worked with at the Dillons Distribution Center in Hutchinson. They don’t believe he would’ve carried out his plan and point out Patterson does not own any firearms. They said they hope he can now get the help he needs.
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