Fallen | Episode 3 – Communication Breakdown: Mental Illness Details Not Shared

More than half of the shooters with mental illness also had prior criminal records. Texas currently has no statewide system for police agencies to share mental health information.

Fallen

In the summer of 2016, a gunman killed five police officers during a rally in downtown Dallas, Texas. Following that tragedy and similar attacks across the nation, our investigative team took a closer look at what led up to those crimes, digging heavily into the backgrounds of the killers to discover a recurring trait among many: mental illness.

The resulting Fallen project examines some of the most compelling cases in recent history, a system with lethal shortcomings and the necessary solutions that could prevent future deaths.

79 Texas Peace Officers

Shot & killed in the line of duty


March 24, 2000 – April 3, 2017
The Shooters
23 Mental
Illness

51 Criminal
Pasts

31 Violent
Pasts

6
Police or
Military
Service

Case Files

Topics to Explore

Finding Help

Living with a mental illness can be challenging; but several Texas groups are working to pair people with treatment and to crush the stigma associated with mental illness. National Alliance on Mental Illness Texas provides resources for individuals and families.

In an Emergency

The Department of Health & Human Services mantains a list of emergency resources ranging from crisis hotlines, local crisis centers to specialized resources for veterans.

Contributors

  • Josh Hinkle, Executive Producer
  • David Barer, Senior Producer
  • Ben Friberg, Videographer
  • Shannon Wolfson, Producer
  • Rachel Garza, Graphic Artist
  • Calily Bien, Digital Executive Producer
  • Patrick Tolbert, Digital Director
  • Chad Cross, News Director