Michael Moza was still wearing his hospital bracelet when Detroit police killed him in heavy gunfire during a car chase early Wednesday morning.
Moza, who had just turned 30, suffered from schizophrenia and had tried to check in at a mental hospital a few hours before his death. But his family say the hospital released Moza without the medicine he desperately needed.
Maegan Davis, Moza’s sister, told the Daily Beast he was upset when he visited her on Tuesday night. “I said to the doctor, ‘If anything happens to me, it’s up to you,’” Moza said of the doctor who allegedly let him go.
Now Davis is reenacting Moza’s final moments, before becoming the third mentally ill person to be shot by Detroit cops since July. “He didn’t deserve this,” Davis said. “I cannot stress enough how kind, gentle and good-hearted he was.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Police Chief James Craig urged reporters to hold the mental health facility accountable for allegedly dismissing Moza. He transferred responsibility for Moza’s death to the Psychiatric Center at the Detroit Receiving Hospital.
“This system is broken,” Craig said. “He was crying for help. He wanted help, and now he’s gone.
Craig detailed Moza’s latest moves and how officers went from disarming a “gunman and dangerous” shooter to trying to save his life. Most of Craig’s comments, however, have focused on alleged wrongdoing by mental health workers, not law enforcement.
“I talked about the broken system – it falls on deaf ears,” Craig said, adding, “When are we going to challenge and find out what’s going on at the crisis center? Why are people released? And if they are released, is it because of a lack of personnel? “
Detroit Receiving Hospital, affiliated with the Detroit Medical Center Network, did not return any messages. A hospital spokesperson would only say Detroit News: “We cannot provide any information about the patients at the crisis center.”
For her part, Davis said Moza had been hospitalized at the Detroit Receiving Hospital Crisis Center previously with schizophrenia. Craig told reporters that hospital staff should have looked at Moza’s files and realized he had “a social worker.”
Moza was not the only suspected patient at the crisis center to be killed by cops. The hospital also reportedly treated Darrien Walker, 28, who attacked police officers with a sword and dagger before they shot him fatally on July 30.
Craig told the News his department took Walker to the crisis center in early July after he allegedly wielded a gun at a neighbor. “He was back on the streets in less than 24 hours,” Craig said. or was he just released? We do not know.
Last Friday, a Detroit Police sniper killed a 42-year-old man who was holding his girlfriend hostage in a nine-hour standoff. the Detroit Free Press reported that the unidentified suspect suffered from bipolar disorder, had not taken his medication for 48 hours and had a history of abuse. Craig said the incident was on the 28th this year involving a barricaded gunman – and half of those cases involved suspects with mental illnesses.
“This system is broken and it needs to be fixed,” Craig said after the man’s death last week. “It must be a priority, it is a public safety issue.”
Moza encountered the police just five days after the sniper was withdrawn. Craig said Moza fired 13 bullets at a house in southwest Detroit on Tuesday around 4 a.m. No one was injured and the police had no immediate suspects.
Later that morning, Moza worked as an election officer and called EMS after having a mental health episode. Police responded and took Moza to the Detroit Receiving Hospital Psychiatric Crisis Center, which reportedly released him hours later.
Moza reportedly returned to the same house around 1 a.m. on Wednesday and fired shots again. After receiving a description of the suspect’s vehicle, police attempted to arrest Moza. He led a sergeant in a high-speed chase through the east side of town, in a chase that was called off due to speed, Craig said.
Still, the cops caught up with Moza, and in a second chase, Moza reportedly fired at the police. Craig said a sergeant shot through the windshield of his police car and a second sergeant may have shot Moza’s car as well. A sergeant then blocked Moza and his vehicle stalled.
“Several officers shot the suspect,” Craig said. “The suspect then took off from there, drove a short distance at high speed, went through a fence and collided with a parked tractor-trailer. Craig said a sergeant pulled Moza out of the wreckage and tried to save his life before an ambulance arrived. Craig did not say how many times Moza and the officers who responded fired shots.
But the barrage of gunfire concerns Davis, who says he visited the crime scene and took his own photos of the yellow evidence markers dotting the sidewalk. She claimed to have counted 98 shell casings at the crash site.
Davis said Moza was diagnosed with schizophrenia 10 years ago and suffered “a lot” from the disorder which included symptoms of paranoia. “There were a lot of scary moments but never violent moments. He was not a violent person. I don’t think Michael was ever in a fight at school, ”Davis said. “He was super loving and family oriented. He has suffered a lot of losses in his life.
“He didn’t deserve this. I can’t stress enough how kind, gentle and good-hearted he was.“
Moza’s father and older brother died when he was young and his mother passed away two years ago. She said her brother struggled with schizophrenia and drug addiction and that for the first time he was living alone and managing his medications. “He was doing great, so it was all so shocking,” Davis said.
Davis said something sounded wrong in Moza’s voice on Monday and she wondered if he hadn’t taken his meds. He told her he had quarreled with someone, but Davis surmised that the altercation may have been an illusion. She said she now thought this feud could have been the reason Moza shot a particular house.
Asked about the police response, Davis said, “I understand you can’t shoot a police officer without a shootout.”
But Davis wondered why what appears to be 98 bullets was needed to stop a suspect with a single handgun. “It was like overkill,” she says.
“They won’t even tell us how many times he’s been hit,” Davis said. “They tell us we have to wait for an autopsy.”
In the meantime, Davis has organized a GoFundMe page to pay for Moza’s funeral.
“He was scheduled … November 4, to receive his meds,” Davis wrote. “Instead, we mourn the loss of a compassionate, loving and generous member of our family.”
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