Sister: Police fatally shot older brother who was off his meds due to virus

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An Orange County woman says fallout from the coronavirus pandemic has led to the death of her older brother.

Tanya Decker says their elderly mother called police when 45-year-old Charles Parker took a knife to himself at around 9 p.m. Wednesday.

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She says when Port Jervis police arrived to her brother's home on Railroad Avenue, Parker burst outside the house and lunged at the responding officers.

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office says as Parker came toward the officers, the officers deployed a Taser, as well as firing their service weapons.  Parker was struck by gun fire and was later pronounced dead at Bon Secours Hospital.

Decker adds her brother suffered from psychological and substance abuse problems, and the facility where he was getting counseling and medication in Middletown was closed due to the coronavirus scare.

She says he was off his medication Wednesday night leading him to take out the knife.

In a statement, Port Jervis Police Chief William Worden says "Based upon the information we have thus far, our police officers responded to a dangerous, highly volatile situation involving an armed individual suffering from what appeared to be a severe emotional disturbance.  Our officers made every attempt to deescalate the situation.  Tragically, the rapidly evolving situation forced our officers to make a split-second decision to defend themselves from deadly physical force being used upon them.”   

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