A dispute has arisen between Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw and the family of a man who shot and killed two people in South Florida last week.
The sheriff criticized the gunman’s family for not reporting his mental illness to authorities.
Timothy Wall’s motive for murdering a grandmother and her 1-year-old grandson inside a local grocery store is still unknown.
“Timothy suffered from mental illness and his family made numerous efforts to provide him with the care he needed,” said his ex-wife’s attorney.
Authorities say 55-year-old Wall followed his victims through a Publix store, shooting the child first and then the woman before killing himself.
“He’s on Facebook, he has said ‘I want to kill people and children.’ He’s got friends. Obviously, they saw that,” said Sheriff Ric Bradshaw of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
Bradshaw points the finger at the people in the shooter’s life, including his ex-wife.
“His ex-wife said he was acting strange, he thinks he’s being followed, he’s paranoid,” he said. “You think a damned soul told us about that? No, and if it sounds like i’m angry, I am.”
Hours after the incident, deputies searched the shed behind the ex-wife’s house and interviewed her.
A statement from her attorney read:
“We are disheartened by the approach that has been taken by the sheriff. . . He made an insinuation without knowledge of all the facts. . . The family asked for help and notified sheriff’s deputies on numerous occasions.”
Bradshaw claimed that officials were never notified. “If somebody would have let us know who he is, we could have contacted him, see if he has a gun, get him into mental health and you wouldn’t have two people dead. That’s how it’s supposed to work.”
Moved by this tragedy, people in the community continued to bring flowers and stuffed animals to a memorial.