VIDEO: Boy, 16, fired gun, then killed by cops: "He was bipolar, depressed." So why did he have access to a weapon?


bike boy with gun killed by cops

As our pal Anomaly asked me, why is a 16 year-old able to access a weapon? To which I add, why was a 16-year-old suffering from a bipolar disorder allowed to access a weapon?

Relatives say a 16-year-old boy who was shot and killed by police after he fired at pedestrians and then at pursuing officers suffered from a bipolar disorder.

"He was bipolar, depressed," said Jutuan Brown, the mother of Tywon Jones. "He took medication for it. He was sad sometimes, too sad, sometimes too happy."

Police say Jones was shot by Ogden District tactical officers around 4:10 p.m. Sunday as he rode a bicycle and fired a handgun [...]

"This kid was shooting into a crowd and the officers were actually following him," [Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy] said. "He was on a bike … and when the kid became aware that the officers were following him, he turned the firearm on the car and fired at my officers a couple of times. They returned fire and unfortunately the kid expired."

And then he suggested the boy had a criminal history, even though he was not at liberty to discuss such a history because the dead child was, well, a juvenile.

And that juvenile, the one who "was sad sometimes, too sad, sometimes too happy," somehow got his hands on a gun. How did that happen?


  • Oh geez, where did I say that GottaLaff said that? Be specific please.

  • flan59

    You are mostly correct. There is a much higher chance of someone who is actively psychotic to be victimized by others than to be a perpetrator of violence...however, overall, someone who is actively psychotic, especially if a paranoid type of psychosis, has a much higher chance of being violent that someone who does not have a mental illness...that is the sad truth. However, it really does depend on the type of illness...and severity...and all sorts of no general statements really can be made.

    My friend's son has a catotonic form of schizophrenia and when he went untreated...because he refused to go to the doctor...because he didn't understand he was sick and his mother could not get anyone to help her get her son into treatment...he went from being a healthy young man, to a person who was like a statue and couldn't' walk or barely talk, and it was only when he got that bad that the authorities would come to her house and help her.

    So really, it depends on the type of mental illness, how long a person has been untreated, and all sorts of things like that...did they go off their meds cold turkey? When that out...

  • flan59

    Oh for goodness sake...she is not saying that. Actually, there is the same chance that someone who is bipolar or schizophrenic for that matter, to become violent...than anyone else, except for a small portion of people with untreated serious psychotic illnesses, such as paranoid schizophrenia...then, when untreated, there is a much higher risk of violence.

  • flan59

    That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard.

  • Condolences, minimee.

  • minimee smith

    that was my whole cousin r.i.p tywon

  • Jimmy

    No No , I never maid that accusation about you ..I said many "other" articles and that you have not went as far as them..Yes my approach was the wrong way to go about it and I admit to that above..That I reacted out of emotion because this issue is something that affects me personally..

  • Jimmy

    I thought you would be open minded enough to understand
    that the question at hand that offended me is no different then me asking a question that I knew you would find offensive in return.. Replace other terms with bipolar in your question..Considering it could be any group of people that this could happen to and has..Just look at my question as playing devils advocate ..

    I am standing up for those with a Mental Illness and the stigma that is being caused with every new article ..I will always do so the same as you will stand up for women's rights ..I want to change the tone of the way people portray mental illness the same way every other group has done to change the way society sees their specific group..Changing the tone is the first step in making a difference for the better ..I am not willing to see things regress backwards..

    Out of years of agreement with you , one small disagreement over wording is not bad..I'm hoping we can come to an understanding here and just agree we were both offended by said questions..I did see it as generalizing and understand you did not mean it to be


    I will apologize for acting out of emotion and purposely trying to offend you , I just hope you will understand why I acted on that emotion the same way you reacted and were offended by my comparison ..

  • It never even entered my mind re: whether you were defending/not defending gun rights.. that was never an issue. But as Anomaly said, I did not insinuate anything. That, too, never entered my mind (generalizing, etc), and for you to suggest it did was downright insulting.

    I agree with everything else you've said, though. : )

  • Jimmy

    After months of seeing non stop ignorance about Mental Illness , you bet I am getting tired of seeing it...I have not wanted to be involved in any politics at all since those children have lost their lives in sandy hook, I grieved and felt for all that were affected just the same as anyone else..Then it turned into me feeling like I haft to defend myself and others against the non stop accusations , of fear mongering making it out that everyone should be on guard around anyone who is known to have an illness...It isn't something to fear and it isn't something to create an environment of people with a phobia ..What all this negative focus is going to do is make people retreat from seeking help ..

    I stated "stupid question" after bringing it up because I see it as no different than your question ..Did I mean it , as I really feel that way? No! Did I see your question the same way you seen mine? Yes! Did I do it to provoke ? Yes! Do I want to continue a cycle of pointing fingers back and fourth? No! I see both questions as equally, ignorant ..Mine based on being offended by yours..I have no problem with the way Anomaly presented the question..

    How about we move on from the questions we both see as provocative and ignorant..I know you're not an ignorant person ,In fact I think you are a very intelligent person . I just disagree with the way the question was presented, the very way you disagree with my question..As not helpful or constructive..I don't want to see people retreating from seeking help because they are being made to feel like they are going to be put in the same group as someone who finally snapped to the point of suicide or killing children..M argument has nothing to do with defending gun rights..It is simply not wanting people to go with out seeking help for fear of being labeled and deemed as a dangerous person..

  • Grrr! I sure hope so Memo!

  • I don't see where the author is saying that.

  • Just let this one play through... it keeps moving on to the next one.. I bet it's there, Memo!

  • I need to butt in here. Where does GottaLaff insinuate, much less generalize, that those suffering from a bipolar disorder are going to go out on a shooting spree?

  • I sort of agree with him too. What I did not agree with was his accusation that I said anyone with any disorder or illness is automatically a murderer. I mentioned what the news report mentioned... It's a factor, one that should be considered. But I did not generalize or categorize.

    So he should only be denied a gun IF he has a history of dangerous behavior. I never suggested he did. But the cop did: "And then he suggested the boy had a criminal history, even though he was
    not at liberty to discuss such a history because the dead child was,
    well, a juvenile."

    That puzzled and even irked me a little. He hinted, but "couldn't" reveal more. He suggested a criminal past without being able to say anything definitively.

  • I loves me some Helen Mirren though. Put the video back Memo!

  • flan59

    I hate to sort of agree with Jimmy because I don't think he used the correct approach to bring up this topic. We just cannot go by diagnosis alone. I know of people with schizophrenia who had only a few psychotic episodes...diagnosed with schizophrenia, but never relapsed after treatment - they had insight and manage very well...and never had a history of violence. Are you saying that person should be denied a gun?

  • No. You really need to learn to use teh Googles.

  • For realsies? That's what you're going with? Is it a bad day, or couldn't you think of something significant?

  • Agreed. Both are relevant.

  • flan59

    Before I would ask why he could get a hold of a gun, I would ask if this boy getting the appropriate treatment for his depression and bipolar disorder? We cannot go by diagnosis alone. History of violence, yes...

  • I totally agree with you about the tone in Washington re: mental illness. It really bothers me that they are diverting attention on to that rather than so many other aspects of gun violence issues.

    But I still take issue with your accusation that I generalized about an entire group when, in fact, I was focusing on one boy whose illness was stressed in the report, and is a valid focus in this case.

    As I said, had it been pointed out that he was drunk rather than bipolar, that would have been the focus. I really do think you're being too sensitive in this case.

    And no, your menopause remark was just ignorant and was a generalization when my post did not generalize. If you intended to provoke, then you should have thought twice, because it was not helpful or constructive, and as DC does, it diverted attention away from your point and on to something that wasn't relevant or true.

  • Jimmy

    That link you provided is what is wrong with the current methods of treatment, they make it out that you should treat someone with an illness as if they are already dangerous..

    Maybe if their was better treatment this 16 year old's life could have been saved and by better treatment I mean better understanding , not treatment that thinks someone can punish the illness out of them..

    I have been silent on the gun fight for only one reason and that is the tone from Washington and many others who seem to think it is only those with a mental illness going out shooting places up..There are much larger groups with much Higher statistics to focus on, but none of those are even being considered ..

    I see the Menopausal comment has you on the offensive and that is just what it was intended to do, because your question put me in a position to be defensive..

    As stated already , I said you have not went as far as some others yet, and I hope you don't take it that far because, like I said , I agree with you on most every other issue..I have fought as hard as anyone for women's equality, the rights for same sex coupes to marry and against racism and bigotry of all forms ...

    Maybe the better question would be why did this boy "not" have access to understanding and caring treatment?

    Perhaps he did what he did because he was made to feel worthless and useless by a sick society that thinks they can just lock someone up like a criminal in order to cure him..

    Also I will point out that I know many Police officers with PTSD and suffer with depression ..It is not an automatic code for "dangerous citizen" and should not be treated as such..

    The statistics among those who suffer with an illness is very small compared to those who don't..

  • Again, you are accusing me of generalizing. I never did that. I never once suggested in the post, nor do I believe, that all people with any disorder would grab a gun and shoot. The article itself, the video too, made a point of saying THAT BOY suffered from bipolar disorder.

    Someone with severe symptoms, as this boy is said to have had, is much more apt to behave erratically than someone with PMS or menopausal symptoms, both which I've experienced, and neither are close to that extreme. It is not unreasonable to point out what is emphasized in the article itself. If he were drunk, I would have said that too. Is that condemning all drunks as murderers? No.

    Why do you think we want background checks? Because if someone shows signs of irresponsible behavior or dangerous mental illness, they shouldn't own a gun.

    And there's this:

    During a bipolar manic episode, your loved one may become violent, even if they have never been violent before. During a depressive episode, they may still show violent behavior, only it will probably be self-directed. Either way, you need to be prepared for this eventuality. There are several ways to do this, as I outline on my website devoted to bipolar disorder, but I will go over a few of them in this article.

    Following are some suggestions to minimize the risks of harm due to violence during a bipolar episode:

    · Get rid of any knives, guns, or other weapons in your home, or keep them locked up (with only you or another person having the key).

    So thank you Jimmy, but you're seeing generalizations and categorizations that simply are not there.

  • Jimmy

    It is implied every time someone inserts the type of illness any time something like this happens ,,'s no different than putting a false phobia into peoples minds to fear Black's or Gay's ..Why is there a double standard when it comes to us who have a Mental Illness ? Why do you accuse me of over reacting but would never say such a thing to the Black or Gay community?

    To be compared to someone who murdered children like so many others have wrote in other articles is beyond offensive....

    I have followed you for a long time and agree with you on most everything and even though you personally did not go as far as others have , I still find this question offensive because there are millions of us who, would never even consider such horrendous things..

    I chose to call you out on this question because I see you as a person who has more of an open mind , to where I might actually be able to get you to understand , before you do go all the way down that road of demonizing and

    categorizing . Advocate for better treatment, not treating us like we are all criminally insane..

  • I didn't see anyone suggest you do, nor did anyone here suggest that "all who suffer" would murder. And your anger and inaccuracies are not helping your case.

    Nor did your insults to women.

  • No, not an entire group, this boy, who suffered from a mental illness. Why was this boy, who suffered from a mental illness that caused him to act erratically, allowed access to a gun?

    By the way, my mother suffered from such an illness. I would never have trusted her with a gun.

  • Nobody said you would. You are overreacting and very defensive. I was referring to this child, and if this child was known to exhibit extreme behavior, as people who are bipolar can, he should not have had access to guns. He was not suffering from PMS-like symptoms, which is an embarrassingly inaccurate comparison.

    This boy was clearly not in control. He shot at people. And this is what you compare to PMS and menopause?

  • Jimmy

    Further more I do not want a damn gun , I just want you people to think , before you compare all who suffer, with murders or someone who would go shooting at Police officers..

  • Jimmy

    As someone who is Bi polar and does not go out killing children or shooting at police I can assure YOU you are wrong..

  • I suppose this weapon was obtained "legally" though a "straw buyer" or at a gun show, then resold (ultimately) on the street. Wayne LaPierre should be proud.

  • Jimmy

    The only stupidity here is the continued effort to single out a single group of people who suffer a mental illness...However when someone points a finger back at YOU.. Then it's wrong...

  • As a woman who's been there, I can promise you, you are mistaken.

  • You're right—stupid question. Apple to oranges comparison.

  • Jimmy

    Not Identical, women suffering from menopause or even PMS are much more of a danger then someone who has Bi Polar..

  • Yes, Jimmy, the two are identical. Your ignorance is astounding.

  • Jimmy

    Why do menopausal woman have access to a gun? Stupid question? I know, but it's no more stupid then asking the same about Bi polar..It's bigotry the very same

  • Thanks. Fixing code now.

  • Alison Verbeck

    There seems to be a video about Helen Mirren up instead of whatever you intended.