AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – It was at Westchester Apartments on July 18 that an 18-hour police standoff took place. In the end, 31-year-old Imonie Hackett would be shot by police.
“I’m watching my grandson cry about missing his mom at 3 o’clock in the morning and it should have ended up so differently. There has to be other ways,” said Belinda Hackett, Imonie’s mom.
Belinda says she doesn’t understand how a mental health call could result in the death of her daughter.
“Never imagined anything like this, not even semi-close… For her? No,” Belinda said.
Belinda says Imonie was caring and kind. She said she loved fashion and more than anything loved her son.
Belinda says Imonie struggled with mental illness and was having a mental health episode when police were called to her home. But she feels the situation should have been handled differently.
Belinda says she was never contacted while the standoff was going on, and she found out about it after someone posted about it on social media.
“Someone saw it on the news and put an announcement out looking for her family,” she said.
Once she got to the scene, Belinda tried to talk to Imonie over the phone. She said she explained to police that Imonie had mental health issues.
Imonie was in her apartment with her 8-year-old son. She also had a gun in her possession. At some point, Imonie was shot by an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper. It’s still not clear what happened in the moments leading up to the shooting.
But, Belinda says even after Imonie was shot, no one told her anything.
“When they shot her, they didn’t tell me, they never said a word. They came back with my grandson, and we asked, ‘Well, where’s my daughter, where’s Imonie?’ ‘We have no information on that.’ ‘I heard gunfire, is she OK? Did she get shot?’ ‘We don’t have any information on that,’” she said.
Belinda says her family wasn’t allowed in the hospital and it was days before she knew what happened to her daughter.
“I got a call from the hospital three days later, and the doctor told me how bad it was and where she had gotten shot,” she said.
Imonie had been shot twice. Once in the neck and once in the face. A week and a half after the shooting, Belinda was finally able to see Imonie. Belinda says she never woke up after the shooting.
Belinda says she knows Imonie had a gun on her at the time of the incident, but she questions how she was able to get it.
“I thought there were laws to protect not only people like herself, but for us as society as well,” she said.
According to Gilfords Law Center, Ohio has no laws requiring the reporting of mental health information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
Belinda says nothing can bring her daughter back, but she feels some changes should be made when it comes to dealing with mental health issues.
“There should be protocols in place to deal with people like this… They have bean bags, rubber bullets, all kinds of things that you can go at. I don’t understand why that couldn’t have been used,” she said.
First News has requested the police body camera footage from OSHP, but as of Sept. 1, we have not received it.
Abigail Cloutier contributed to this report.