Judge calls for another mental health assessment of man shot dead by Portsmouth police

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – Andre Rawls suffers from arm and leg pain every day; his family lives in emotional pain. Rawls, now 20, spent a month at Sentara Norfolk General where doctors treated him for five gunshot wounds to his right arm and both legs.

Months later, family members say the shooting and chronic health issues were too much for 71-year-old grandfather Henry Rawls Sr.

Courtesy of the Rawls family

“My father died on October 1 of a serious heart attack. Seeing his grandson in the hospital being tasered and [shooting] took a lot from my father. Lord rest my father’s soul in peace.

Courtesy of the Rawls family

Without Henry Sr. by their side, the Rawls family appeared before a judge in Portsmouth on Friday who is considering the facts of the case.

According to police, on the morning of June 19, Rawls, while holding a sharp object, was shot and tasered. when he would have advanced towards the officer. Rawls says he had an out-of-body experience as paramedics worked to save his life.

“I just remember I was on the ground…and as the police came, an ambulance came to pick me up and that’s what I remember,” Rawls said.

Regina Mobley: You see this quite often on the news, people get shot by the police and not survive. When you see these stories, how does it affect you?

Andrew Rawls: It’s sad to see and I thank God that I survived.

In a brief hearing, the court agreed that Rawls was fit to stand trial, but because examiners failed to determine his state of mind on June 19, the judge ordered another examination.

Regina Mobley: Does it seem to you that your son was in crisis at that time?

Kennette Rawls: Absolutely, he was absolutely in crisis at the time.

Rawls is under mental health care and physiotherapy. The officer who opened fire is being investigated by the national police.

Rawls is due back in court next month for attempting to injure the officer and attempting to enter a house to commit a crime. Based on the results of the mental health exams, a judge could advance the case to a preliminary hearing.

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