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The Enquirer Cincinnati
Kevin Grasha and Cameron Knight, Cincinnati
Published 6:50 p.m. ET Aug. 8, 2016 | Updated 9:13 a.m. ET Aug. 9, 2016
Jawari Porter had a history of mental illness dating back at least five years, and a family member told The Enquirer that Porter’s violent actions Sunday likely happened because he didn’t take his medication.
“I know he had problems, but that’s not the Jawari I know,” Porter’s niece, 33-year-old Chanel Mincey, told The Enquirer. “I don’t know the person that supposedly did all those crimes Downtown Sunday morning. The Jawari I know is a kind, loving uncle.”
As recently as March, the 25-year-old Porter was receiving in-patient treatment at University of Cincinnati Hospital’s psychiatric unit, according to Hamilton County Probate Court records. The most recent application for continued commitment was filed March 22.
Porter, however, was discharged from the hospital a week later, for reasons that are not clear. The probate court documents detailing the case are not public. The case was dismissed June 22.
Mincey said Porter had checked himself into a hospital in recent months for a few days.
“He knew he had issues he had to take care of,” Mincey said.
At about 7:20 a.m. Sunday, Porter robbed the Kroger store at 1420 Vine St., and held a knife to a security guard who tried to stop him. Twenty minutes later, surveillance video shows Porter, armed with a knife, rush to the driver’s side of a Cincinnati police SUV and repeatedly try to stab Officer Anthony Brucato. Brucato fired six shots, striking Porter in the chest and abdomen.
Recently, Porter was homeless and had been sleeping in a local park, according to people who knew him. He received mail at the offices of the Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition.