A call for more mental health supports in wake of police shooting

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A man who was shot by police after threatening people with a machete in downtown Windsor has left the community wondering why more mental health initiatives aren't in place. 

At approximately 2:30 p.m. on Monday, police were called to the intersection of Wyandotte Street East and Ouellette Avenue for a man waving a machete and threatening people.

During the interaction with the man, one officer tased him and another officer shot him. As a result, a 70-year-old man, identified as Allan Andkilde, died while in hospital Monday evening.

Rino Bortolin is the councillor for Ward 3 where the incident occurred and says his heart goes out to the family of  Andkilde, as well as the officers who had to use the response they did.

He says many individuals in the medical system were aware the man struggled with mental health battles.

Bortolin says lack of aid toward mental health puts police officers in positions where they have to make potential life altering situations. 

"We do not treat funding for mental health as seriously as we need to. And that results in putting police officers in the position they were, and unfortunately that is a huge glaring flaw in how the system works."

He says mental health initiatives need to be provided to help those facing challenges.

"What we're seeing is more and more people that are on the streets, and not necessarily homeless, but often times on the streets are dealing with very, very acute mental health issues, huge addictions issues, and we're not dealing with that properly."

Bortolin adds that funding is not being provided to help those struggling with mental health issues.

"When COVID hit, we were able to mobilize and spend millions, if not billions, of dollars to deal with it immediately. We've had a pandemic with drugs and mental health for years now, but we've refused to deal with it in the same way. Until we deal with it in the same way, what we saw will happen again. Not only in Windsor, but other communities across Ontario."

The Special Investigations Unit continues to investigate the incident. 

They ask that anyone who may have information about this investigation, including videos or photos, to contact the lead investigator at 1-800-787-8529.

-with files from AM800's Rob Hindi