A northwest Oklahoma City family witnessed a tragic police shooting on Thursday in their front yard.
They said police did everything to try to stop the deadly shooting. The man who died was their family member.
One Oklahoma City police officer was placed on paid administrative leave after he reportedly fired a deadly round at 30-year-old T.J. Barton.
His family said he was having a mental health crisis.
Rob and Melinda Beauchamp are still in shock and disbelief after they witnessed Barton die in their driveway. He was one of their oldest. They described Barton as a protective and caring big brother.
“He was a good kid, he really was,” said Rob Beauchamp, Barton's stepfather. “It was just you know certain things just got under his skin and we wish that it didn’t turn that way, the route he went with it.”
Beauchamp and his wife wanted the public to know they do not blame police.
“The cops were great,” said Melinda Beauchamp, Barton's mother. ”They did what they had to do. Our son shot first. I was right out in front, saw it myself.”
Officers were called just before midnight to check on a domestic disturbance at their home near NW 16th and MacArthur Boulevard.
“My youngest one called the police last night,” said Rob Beauchamp. “They came and she warned them that he had a gun.”
He said Barton was dealing with depression and had an argument with his girlfriend that sent him into a suicidal rage.
When police got there, officers approached the situation with caution.
“When they showed up, they tried to get him to put it down, and instead of him putting it down, he faced it up, and started shooting at the officers. That’s when they fired back on him,” said Rob Beauchamp.
Barton's family knew he was struggling but were not aware of the depths of his depression. Their message to the public is to seek help before it turns deadly.
“Get in touch with somebody or let your parents or a friend know that you’re having them kind of issues, the problem you’re having, instead of keeping it built up inside,” said Rob Beauchamp.