Vigil held for man killed by police

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Vigil held for man killed by police

By Yona Gavino and Steve Chamraz. CREATED May 2, 2014 - UPDATED: May 2, 2014

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Police have identified the man an officer shot and killed in Red Arrow Park on Tuesday. Authorities say 31 year old Dontre Hamilton attacked an officer, forcing him to shoot.

Hamilton's family says Dontre was suffering from a mental illness. They’d been trying to get him help, unfortunately, they couldn’t' get services for Dontre in time. Friday, they rallied to bring attention to mental illness.

"He was a compassionate man,” remembers younger brother Nathaniel. “He was a loving spirit. We will miss him dearly."

The family of Dontre Hamilton wept in anguish as they remembered him. Hamilton's family say he was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

“It's a sickness. People need care. People need love. People need compassion," insisted Nathaniel Hamilton.

He could barely hold back the tears. He says Dontre heard voices, but wasn't violent.

"My brother was a paranoid schizophrenic. He wasn't a mean schizophrenic. He didn't say, oh, I gotta go kill somebody. No, he was scared for his life!" explains Hamilton.

Mom Maria is stunned by the sudden loss of her son. The family says they tried to get help for him. Now, she's asking others to help if they see someone struggling with mental illness.

“Help that individual! See what's wrong. Dial 911!" pleaded Maria Hamilton.

Today, family and friends did the only thing they could do. They bowed their heads and prayed, grieving the loss of their brother, and son. A 31 minute vigil was held Friday night to represent each year Dontre lived.