The mother of a man shot, killed by PHX police discusses suspect's mental illness

Posted at 8:40 PM, Sep 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-08 01:47:02-04

Phoenix police are investigating it’s 20th officer-involved shooting of the year. 

Officers were called to the area of 37th Street and Thomas Road on Tuesday night after a woman called 911 because she was concerned about her son’s behavior.

When police arrived Dylan Papa allegedly lunged at them with a sword before officers shot and killed him.
The suspect’s mother, Suzette Peollot, said, “No matter how much he said he hated me, I knew he loved me and I loved him.”

Just hours after her son’s death Peollot said she’s at peace now.

“I have a relief that he is no longer in emotional pain,” Peollot said. 

According to Peollot, her son has a suffered from mental illness all his life and refused to get help. In fact, a few days before the shooting he threatened to kill her.

"He had a curved blade with eight kill points. He could have stuck it through my whole body," Peollot said.

When the situation continued to escalate, Peollot knew she had to contact the police.

"I was thinking he would back down from police,” she explained. “I thought I would get the opportunity to get him petitioned."

But things didn't go as planned, and Papa started to lunge at officers.

"They shot him with bean bags and that didn't stop him,” Peollot said. “Then they fired. All I remember is hearing about 30 gun shots.”

Although the past few days have been emotionally tumultuous for Peollot, she said she doesn’t feel any animosity towards police.

“I think police did what they needed to do for their protection,” Peollot said.

According to Peollot, her son had been in and out of jail and continued to deny treatment for his mental health. She explained that once Papa turned 18 years old the struggle became even more difficult.

"I couldn't do anything a parent of an adult child with mental illness,” Peollot said. “He had to be homicidal or suicidal. And in the end he was both.”

Papa is the 20th person in Arizona to be shot by an officer in 2016. Eight of those suspects survived the shootings.