Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Young schizophrenic man shot in Florida

In Hallandale Beach, Florida, on Wednesday, December 17, an 18-year-old schizophrenic male named Johnny Mario Silfrain was shot in the leg by a Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Mr. Silfrain had led police on a brief chase in a hearse he stole from a funeral he was attending. At the end of the pursuit, he attempted to run over deputies, leading them to open fire. Now, Silfrain has been undergoing evaluation at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Florida.
Just the day before this incident, deputies had been called to the apartment Silfrain shares with this mother. He had become increasingly agitated, she told them, but by the time officers arrived, Silfrain had calmed down and was no longer judged to be dangerous, so the authorities left him at home. According to his mother, Silfrain was quite paranoid, believing people were watching and following him.
Prior to his first psychotic break, the young Silfrain was football player and a student in Advanced Placement classes.
While there aren’t enough details available at this time, it appears this crisis may present an opportunity for examining what systemic failures may have occurred in this case.
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