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Maricopa shooting victim was armed war vet suffering from PTSD

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Johnathan Guillory, 32, is a military veteran who struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder, his wife, Maria Garcia, right, said. Guillory was shot and killed by Maricopa police officers Sunday. (Source: Guillory family photos) Johnathan Guillory, 32, is a military veteran who struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder, his wife, Maria Garcia, right, said. Guillory was shot and killed by Maricopa police officers Sunday. (Source: Guillory family photos)
The Maricopa Police Department identified the officers involved as Officer Joshua Hawksworth, left, and Sgt. Leonard Perez. (Source: Maricopa Police Department) The Maricopa Police Department identified the officers involved as Officer Joshua Hawksworth, left, and Sgt. Leonard Perez. (Source: Maricopa Police Department)
MARICOPA, AZ (CBS5) -

The man shot and killed by Maricopa police officers Sunday was an Arizona military veteran who struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder, his widow said.

Johnathan Guillory, 32, died after he was shot by police in his neighborhood south of Phoenix.

The Maricopa Police Department identified the officers involved as Officer Joshua Hawksworth and Sgt. Leonard Perez.

Hawksworth has been with the department since 2013 and Perez since 2007, according to the department.

Maria Garcia said her husband struggled for many years with PTSD brought on by a combat deployment in Iraq. He also spent time as a contract worker in Afghanistan.

"Sometimes he couldn't even deal with day-to-day life. It was a struggle for him to get through each morning, but he did," Garcia said.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety is investigating the confrontation with Maricopa police, which led to the deadly shooting. A DPS spokesman would not comment on why the officers felt threatened, or whether Guillory was armed at the time.

Garcia said her husband proactively sought help for his condition.

"He saw therapists, and was on the phone constantly with suicide hotlines," she said.

Guillory's widow said he went to the VA hospital, where he reported he was having a mental health emergency.

"They turned him away. They told him there was no room, and that he'd have to make an appointment," Garcia said.

"I think the system failed him," Garcia said. "It was a huge disappointment for him to come in and have doctors say they couldn't fit him in an emergency appointment, that they didn't have anything, that they were totally booked up."

The scenario is all too familiar for veteran advocates, such as David Lucier, who founded the Arizona Veterans and Military Leadership Alliance.

"We see this played out over and over and over again. Here's another example of someone not being able to get help when they need it. [The VA] just lacks capacity. It's a big issue when it comes to folks with unseen wounds," Lucier said.

Guillory is survived by his wife and two young sons, ages 4 and 9. Garcia said Guillory's sons were his inspiration.

"He wanted to get better for his kids," she said.

Garcia was home when her husband was shot. She said she didn't know anything was wrong, and does not believe her husband had a gun.

Although DPS has not yet commented, a spokesman for the Maricopa Police Department said Tuesday evening Guillory not only was armed with a handgun, but he pointed it at officers.

"[I]n return the officers fearing for their safety and the safety of the community fired on Mr. Guillory as trained to do," Ricardo Alvarado wrote in an email to media outlets. "As of yet I have no information on shots fired from anyone other than our officers."

Police were called to the home several times by neighbors reporting disturbances, and arrived Sunday afternoon after several 911 hang-up calls.

"I wish I could've done something different for him. I tried," Garcia said. "A lot of people perceive him as a crazy guy who went off the edge, but that's not him."

The family has set up an account in Guillory's name at Wells Fargo, as they struggle to come up with funeral costs.

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