On Wednesday, Atlanta police killed a 22-year-old young man named Nygil Cullins at a Buckhead steakhouse after experiencing a mental health crisis. Quinten and Mya Cullins are both overcome with grief and anger by their son’s death at the upscale Fogo De Chao on Piedmont Road, according to Fox 5 Atlanta.
“This is an interview I would never wish on my worst enemy, but I want y’all to know something has to change,” said Mya Cullins. “I don’t want to see another mother out there struggling – and their worst fear is being killed by a cop.”
Nygil’s parents are demanding that officers are trained to become better equipped to deal with people in the community who have mental health issues.
Atlanta Police Deputy Chief Charles Hampton Jr. said the restaurant staff alerted his department about an unruly customer, according to The Atlanta-Journal Constitution.
When officers arrived at the scene, they found Nygil close to the bar and attempted to escort him off the property. However, he was uncooperative, and one of the officers decided to use a stun gun; Hampton noted that it “had a negative effect on the subject.”
Law enforcement members continued to struggle with Nygil near the restaurant’s entrance, where he attempted to leave before being struck down by a security guard. Cullins pulled out his weapon during their scuffle and fired one shot, striking the guard. The officers returned fire, and killed Cullins, said Hampton, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution reports.
The family of 22-year-old Nygil Cullins say he was the man shot and killed by an APD officer at Fogo De Chao on Wednesday.
They say their son had mental health issues, and they called 911 to get him help hours before he was shot and killed.
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“And all the sudden, it started to escalate, and we started hearing noise and a lot of commotion,” recalls a witness to Fox 5.
According to Mya Cullins, she called 911 and told them that her son had bipolar schizophrenia and needed to be taken to a mental health facility.
She tried to convince her son to stay at his apartment until help arrived, but he eventually left.
Later, she learned of her son’s death on the news.
“He left. Not even 30 or 40 minutes later, he’s on the news,” said Mya.
“He battled mental health for a while. We always tried to get him help dealing with his depression and bipolar (disorder). That is what we were trying to do yesterday,” said Nygil’s father on Thursday.
“We called 911 for them to bring someone out. His mom got on the phone and made clear we were dealing with our son. We just needed someone to come and help us to get him to the hospital.”
“No one is excluded from struggling with mental health. Nygil comes from a good family, he had a good heart, good friends,” she said. “He didn’t deserve it. We just got to do better to make sure people are professionally trained, educated and we are well-equipped in each county to make sure this doesn’t continue to happen.”
Nygil’s parents said their son was happy and loving.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation will examine the incident and give its results to the Fulton County District Attorney.