Missed cries for help a factor in St. Paul shooting death - KMSP-TV

Missed cries for help a factor in St. Paul shooting death

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Timothy Hendricks older sister says she raised him and his brother after their father died and their mother basically abandoned them. She says depression and anxiety run in their family and that Timothy battled mentall illness and addiction and that a struggle for custody of his son sent him over the edge.

Hendricks killed his estranged girlfriend and the mother of his child, Michelle Ploetz in the back seat of a vehicle that was driven by Ploetz’s father earlier this week and told investigators he just snapped after meeting them for dinner in St. Paul on Wednesday so he could see his 8 month old son.

MURDER CHARGES: St. Paul man 'just snapped' and shot girlfriend

“He heard voices,” said Hendricks sister Jennifer. “He felt like everyone was out to get him. He has social anxiety, doesn’t trust anybody.”

Police say as Ploetz’s father drive Hendricks home, the 20 year old shot Michelle in the head with their son sitting in the car seat between them.

“It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life is know that if we had gotten the help we needed earlier, that I think we could have prevented Michelle from losing her life,” Jennifer Hendricks said. “

She says her brother had gone to Regions Hospital days before asking to be put in the psych ward but was turned away. Ploetz’s father told police he’d also tried to have Hendricks committed three times because he was worried Hendricks would kill him or his family.

“This is a tragic situation, and we have great sympathy for the Ploetz family. We cannot provide details about Mr. Hendrick’s care. Any patient who comes to our emergency department goes through a thorough medical evaluation, and if necessary, a psychiatric evaluation. We use these to determine the appropriate plan of care. Our top priority is to provide our patients the best care.”- REGIONS HOSPITAL STATEMENT

Even though Hendricks had a mental evaluation after he pointed a rifle at his sister’s 13-year old son back in January, Sue Aberholden with the National Alliance on Mental Illness says Minnesota doesn’t have enough mental health professionals to help everyone who needs it.

“Our system is not robust enough to accept them and treat them at that point in time when they say I need help,” Aberholden said. “I think that’s a tragedy.

Jennifer Hendricks says the real tragedy is that it took Michelle losing her life for her brother to finally get the help he needs.

“I just want to bring Michelle back and I just want to save my brother,” she said.

Despite being on suicide watch, prosecutors say Timothy Hendricks broke his jaw and pelvis after jumping over a railing in jail. He is charged with 2nd degree murder and attempted murder. His bail is set at $1 million.

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