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The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA)
August 13, 1999
Author: Richard Sine, West Bank bureau
Roy Borel, 31, of Gretna was shot three times in the chest and pronounced dead at West Jefferson Medical Center at 10:20 p.m. Capt. Charles Whitmer said Thursday that Borel had shouted “You gonna shoot me? You’re gonna have to… kill me. Shoot me, shoot me,” before charging at one of two police officers on the scene.
“There’s such a thing as suicide by police, and it looks like that’s what happened,” Deputy Chief Arthur Lawson said. “He got the police officer in a position where he kept coming and the officer had no place to go.”
Shortly before 10 p.m., police received a call from Borel’s mother, Mary Gleason, 55, who said Borel had hit her on the head with a door and slapped her in the face, police said. She was treated by a paramedic for her injuries. Borel also had chased after a nephew, Brian Kincaid, 16, Lawson said.
“His mother said he was a mental patient,” Lawson said. “He was on Prozac. She said he was usually fine when he took his medicine and didn’t drink, but she said he had been drinking all day. When he got home he told her he wanted to die. He was very distraught over not being able to see his children.”
Police had been called to the home in the 600 block of Hancock Street at least a dozen times in the past because of domestic disputes involving Borel, Lawson said. He had been arrested on a simple battery charge, but never convicted of any felonies, he said. Borel was also sought on an arrest warrant for not paying child support at one point, Lawson said. Court records indicate Borel did not appear for a court date following a 1998 arrest on charges of simple battery and family neglect.
When two officers arrived at the home they found Borel standing outside waving the bicycle lock over his head. “He kept telling them, ‘You want me, you come and get me,'” Lawson said.
After a brief standoff Borel charged at one of the officers, who fired when Borel was about four feet away, Lawson said. Police declined to provide the name of the police officer who fired, citing department policy.
“It’s traumatic enough on the officers without having to see their name in the paper,” Whitmer said. The reactions of community members to the officer or his family could also be unpredictable, Whitmer said.
The officer, a five-year veteran, has never used his gun before in the line of duty, Lawson said. In accordance with policy, he will be reassigned to desk duty while the department conducts an internal investigation. He also will be referred to a specially-trained psychiatrist for counseling.
The last shooting by Gretna police was in 1997.
On Thursday, police examined a large bloodstain on the curb just outside the white clapboard home, which is connected to another home through a common bathroom. Family members declined to speak to reporters about Borel or the shooting.
A neighbor, Roxanne Lanasa, said she heard from a member of Borel’s family that one of Borel’s brothers had also been killed by police. Another brother of Borel’s indicated that the report was true, but declined to provide any details.
Another neighbor, Kass Lionel, said Borel had lived at the home with a woman until about a year ago, and then moved out. Police had frequently been called to the house during that time, he said. Otherwise the neighborhood was usually quiet, Lionel said.