LOVELAND, Colo. — People gathered outside the Loveland Municipal Building Sunday, demanding the city's police department change how it responds to mental health situations after an intellectually disabled man was shot by police Monday.
“We're here today to create some mental health awareness,” said Loveland Justice League Founder Jen Castaneda.
Sunday's demonstration was sparked by an incident Monday night. Loveland police officers shot and injured 19-year-old Alexander Domina who police said was armed with a knife and having a mental health crisis.
“We felt it was needed to come together as a community and to speak clearly about what is needed,” said Castaneda.
A 911 call came into Loveland Police Dispatch at approximately 6:58 p.m. for a disturbance in the 1600 block of Tennessee Street. Investigators later confirmed a person in the home called to request police assistance for a family member who was experiencing a mental health crisis and actively damaging the home.
"Alex's grandmother had called 911 and said that he was breaking things, but she also said that he hadn't hurt anybody and that he could be talked down. And when he got frightened by the police and came out with a kitchen knife,” said family attorney Mari Newman.
According to Newman, Domina has undergone three surgeries with more needed.
"He may well lose his arm, and he may well lose his life,” she said.
Domina's family is having a hard time dealing with his condition.
"Alex's family is definitely struggling. His brother is also disabled, and he's having a very hard time, and the family has just been going back and forth, to and from the hospital trying to continue to take care of Alex and take care of his brother,” said Newman.
Newman says the family appreciates the support, but right now they are focused on Domina's recovery.
The officer involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative leave by the department while the incident is being investigated.