- Associated Press - Sunday, July 3, 2016

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A man shot and killed by police after he allegedly charged at an officer with a pitchfork says he struggled with mental illness for much of his adult life, a housing advocate said.

Dean Loumos, executive director of Housing Initiatives and a Madison school board member, told the Wisconsin State Journal for Sunday’s editions (http://bit.ly/29qUPoh) that 41-year-old Michael William Schumacher wasn’t a dangerous person.

Loumos said Schumacher had been with Housing Initiatives, which provides housing and support for people with mental illness, since 2008.

He said Schumacher graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison but soon after he finished at the school his mental illness began to manifest itself. He said he was legally prohibited from disclosing Schumacher’s medical diagnosis.

“I cannot explain why he did something like this,” Loumos said. “He’s never done anything like that.”

A UW-Madison spokesman said he couldn’t access a student database Sunday to confirm Schumacher’s graduation. Online court records show Schumacher was cited in August 2012 for disorderly conduct, possession of a dangerous weapon, possession of marijuana and unauthorized use of a student center or union.

Police said they received a call on Thursday evening of a man chest-deep in Lake Monona who was talking to himself and slapping the water. The man then threw a rock into a nearby home, went inside and started smashing things, driving the residents to flee. When police arrived he advanced toward them brandishing a pitchfork, ignoring commands to stop. An officer opened fire, killing him.

Alderwoman Marsha Rummel and Dane County Supervisor John Hendrick have said the shooting has eroded community trust in police. Schumacher was the third person officers have shot and killed on the city’s near east side since 2012.

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Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, http://www.madison.com/wsj

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