Muhammad Shabazz Ali murdered three people in Ohio in August of 2016. A report from the Washington Post now indicates that Ali had been desperately seeking help to treat his active hallucinations.
Ali had reportedly been at two different mental health facilities in search of medications including Risperdal, an antipsychotic medication, and Prozac, an antidepressant. He had gotten violent during at least one visit and began screaming “I want my medications. I want my medications.”
Police were called to maintain order and transported Ali to the Grandview Medical Center, where he was assessed and considered a “grave” and “imminent” danger to himself and others. He was allowed to leave anyway.
Later that day, he showed up at the home of his ex-girlfriend, who can be heard begging for help on calls with police.
“Can you get to 35 Oxford immediately, please? 35 Oxford. Some people have been shot," she said in a first call.
“Please hurry. Please. Please Please. Please," she pleads in a second, cut off shortly thereafter.
Police arrived to find three shooting victims — one of which had died, two of which would die shortly afterward.
Ali returned to a mental health facility with a firearm in his hand shortly after the killing. Police then took him into custody. He has since been indicted on 29 counts, including six for aggravated murder. He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
A wrongful death suit is now being issued by the survivors of those killed in the incident. They claim that Ali was wrongfully discharged from the mental health facilities and that his violent history — which included the murder of another ex-girlfriend (for which he served 20 years in prison) — was ignored, directly leading to the murders. The lawsuit claims that mental health care workers behaved negligently by failing to properly examine, diagnose, treat and medicate Ali.
“This was very easily preventable,” said lawyer Michael Wright. “Had they given Mr. Ali his medication, had they properly evaluated him, then these deaths wouldn’t have occurred ... This could have been caught multiple times and it just wasn’t."
Grandview Medical Center has declined to comment on the situation, citing patient confidentiality issues
“[I]f the chief clinical officer believes that the person is not a mentally ill person subject to hospitalization by court order, the chief clinical officer shall release or discharge the person immediately unless a court has issued a temporary order of detention," said Elizabeth Long, a spokeswoman for Kettering Health Network, which oversees Grandview. Long also noted that a person's criminal history is not used in diagnoses and medical evaluations.
Another defendant in the suit has issued the following statement: “Day-Mont denies that it was negligent, or that any treatment or care provided in its facility causally resulted in any harm or death to any other third party,” the Dayton Daily News reported.
[Photo: Montgomery County Jail]