Guy Rubin on Vero Beach shooting underscores need for mental health responders

Isn’t it time we have deputies trained to handle these cases more like The
NEGOTIATOR and less like RAMBO?
— Guy Rubin

Gil Smart,

Woman with a knife lunges at cop. Cop fires, killing the woman.

It's a simple scenario, but not an easy one.

It describes what's alleged to have happened in a gated Vero Beach community July 26, when Indian River County Deputy Jonathan Lozada responded to a 911 call about a woman who had tried to commit suicide. Arriving at the home on Carriage Lake Way, he encountered Susan Teel, 62, who had slashed her own wrists with a knife.

According to the Indian River County Sheriff's Office, she then lunged at Lozada with the raised butcher knife, and he responded as law enforcement is trained to when confronted with a potentially deadly encounter: He fired. She died.

"Suicide by cop," it's called.

But did it have to be this way?

The attorney hired by the Teel family, Guy Rubin, has said Lozada might have prevented the deadly encounter if Indian River County and other law enforcement agencies had deputies "trained to handle these cases more like the negotiator and less like Rambo."