Family grieve 19-year-old, dead following police-involved shooting, battled mental illness

Posted at 1:58 PM, May 10, 2015

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. - A 19-year-old man has died following an incident where he allegedly pulled a gun on Battle Creek

Police Officers and began firing shots.

Family members told FOX 17 Koddy Zachary Campbell died at the hospital Sunday afternoon. Campbell's mother said he had one of the "biggest hearts," and battled bi-polar disorder for years.

According to family, mental illness ran in the family. Campbell was in and out of treatment, and his mother said when he lost his grandmother five years ago, it was something he never fully recovered from.

“He was a big hearted person," said Stacey Yepez, Campbell's second cousin. "He wasn’t a bad kid, just in a bad time in his life."

“He had gotten help before and then things were doing good. And like a lot of people with this mental illness, they feel they’re doing better so they don’t need the medicine, so they stop the medicine. It’s a vicious cycle," said Yepez.

Family said Sunday morning while they were asleep, Campbell took his brother's small handgun out of their home. In conversation later Sunday morning, Campbell texted his brother that he had his handgun, and then a text stating, "I'm done."

Around 10:40 a.m. Sunday, a concerned family member called police, and reported Campbell was believed to be suicidal. By the time they had arrived, Campbell had left his home on Cherry Street and was thought to possibly be carrying a firearm.

At 10:47 a.m. Campbell reportedly began making calls to Calhoun County Dispatch center, where he is said to have provided several locations where police could meet him.  He allegedly told them that he was not armed and that he wanted to commit suicide "by cop".

Officers said they eventually located Campbell on the Linear Park Path, just behind the Calhoun County Jail, and that he pulled a small-caliber handgun from his waistband.  Officers reportedly raised their weapons at this point and say that shots were fired from both parties.

As of Sunday evening, it is still unclear who fired the shot that killed the teenager. Campbell was taken to Battle Creek Bronson Hospital where he was pronounced dead before 12:30 p.m.

Family remember Campbell as a person who was full of life, caring, and the man who loved taking care of his three-year-old niece.

“It’s going to be devastating because she doesn’t know yet, we haven’t told her because she’s three: so is she really going to understand that her favorite uncle is gone?” said Cassandra Caccamisi, Campbell's sister-in-law.

Per Battle Creek Police Department procedure, the incident has been turned over to Michigan State Police.  No officers were hurt, and those involved are on administrative leave, which is protocol.

FOX 17 News requested the police dash cam video of this shooting. As soon as it is released, it will be shared on air and online.