CATASAUQUA, Pa. - The family of a man killed by police in Lehigh County last week is speaking out about his death.
In an emailed statement, Ryan Shirey's brother-in-law says that Shirey battled mental health issues for his entire life and was in a "heightened paranoid state" during his encounter with Catasauqua police last Friday.
Police were called to a home in the 100 block of South 14th Street on Friday over a dispute between the 27-year-old Shirey and his ex-girlfriend. They say Shirey went to the basement and grabbed a gun, and when he refused to put it down, an officer shot and killed him.
The family statement says, in part, that Shirey is "a victim of a system that failed him."
The county district attorney's office says it cannot comment while the investigation is ongoing.
State police say the officer involved was placed on administrative leave.