Parents of a man who shot at San Diego sheriff’s deputies spoke today about the difficult mental health issues their son faced.
Evan Kwik, 22, shot two deputies from a crawl space in his mother's attic in Encinitas on Wednesday and ultimately turned the shotgun on himself.
His parents said they are thankful toward officers who responded at the scene.
"I'm so grateful for them,” said Shelly Kwik. “I'm so grateful for how they treated me, how they treated our family, how they treated Evan and he didn't understand the depth of what they were trying to do with him."
Steve and Shelly their son was so mentally ill he didn't realize the deputies where there to help him. Evan’s parents, now divorced, said they still cannot come up with anything they could've done differently to help their son.
They said early on he was a great kid, who loved the outdoors and snorkeling in the ocean, but he struggled with school, and by 8th grade he dropped out.
He was then diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and bi-polar disorder. Evan’s parents also said things got worse once he turned 18 and was technically an adult, because they had less control over getting him help.
“He's 18 in physical body, but in his mind he was a 12-year-old,” said Shelly. “There needs to be laws that say if this person is doing drugs and mentality is 12-year-old, they need to be treated as a 12-year-old. Their rights need to be taken away."
The parents said Evan then started running with the wrong crowd and three years ago, started using black tar heroin. They also said neither of them owned any guns and they have no idea where he got the shotgun he used in Wednesday's shooting.
Both parents urged for a change in the way the health care system treats mentally ill people, because they believe the way it is now doesn’t work.
“They have to do some heinous, something atrocious to get that institutional help,” said Steve. “And unfortunately when that occurs, that's when people get hurt.”