Wife of man killed by Cumberland County deputies says she was trying to get help for his mental illness

Cumberland County News

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, N.C. (WNCN) — The wife of a Cumberland County man who was shot and killed by a deputy Tuesday after officers say he lunged at them with a machete says she was trying to get help for her husband’s mental illness.

When Sabara Roberts went to get an involuntary commitment order for her husband Adrian Roberts, she says the magistrate’s office told her that she would get notified when they would be serving it and that officers would not be making a forced entry into their home.

“I did not get notified,” Sabara Roberts said. “No one told me what was going on, no one told me there was a shooting, no one called me to calm down the situation.”

Instead, Sabara says officers kicked down the door and that’s when things turned deadly.

“They could have called me,” Roberts said. “They didn’t have to shoot him.”

She says her husband had PTSD from serving in the military, and a history of Schizophrenia and paranoia.

“He was hearing voices, he felt people were following him,” Sabara said. “He thought people were trying to kill him.”

She says he did not have a history of violence, but he had stopped taking his medication.

She was trying to get him help from the VA.

“What I requested from the VA was please give him the help that he needs,” Sabara said. “Do more than just put a band-aid on it.”

She says the VA told her that in order for him to get treatment, she would need to get an involuntary commitment order.

The order states that Adrian Roberts was a veteran suffering from extreme PTSD and Schizoaffective disorder.

Adrian Roberts posted part of the encounter with officers to his Facebook page on Tuesday.

In the video you can hear him telling the officers that he will not open the door for them.

It says he had recent altercations with law enforcement officers during welfare checks and that he always had a machete by his side.

It also said his wife feared for her and the children’s safety.

Security camera video from the Roberts’ house shows one of the recent welfare checks.

You can see his wife walking with officers up to the house.

She says her husband would stay at the house by himself to try to get a handle on things when he needed to.

“Even in the midst of PTSD and everything, he did what he had to do for his family,” Sabara said. “He loved his family, he isolated himself because he wanted to get better so he could come back to his family.”

Roberts leaves behind four children, including a son who keeps asking why.

“He wants to know why,” Sabara said. “I don’t have the answers.”

The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office says they can’t comment on open investigations, but they are conducting an internal investigation into what happened.

The SBI is also investigating.

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