Albuquerque police said he was waving a gun. When he refused to put it
down, an officer shot and killed him.
Vet's death highlights PTSD problem
* Reporter: Kim Vallez
* Web Producer: Devon Armijo
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - As police investigate the officer involved shooting
of an Iraq War veteran, the Veterans Affairs hospital is looking into
what if anything it should have done differently to help the man.
Kenneth Ellis III, 24, was shot to death Wednesday near the 7-Eleven on
Eubank and Constitution.
Albuquerque police said Ellis was waving a gun. When he refused to put
it down, an officer shot and killed him.
Ellis' mother Annelle Wharton said her son suffered from Post Traumatic
Stress Disorder, resulting from a tour of duty in Iraq where he
witnessed the death of his best friend.
Officials from the VA Hospital in Albuquerque confirmed that Ellis was
once a part of a PTSD program there but stopped coming.
Vietnam Veteran Pete Comstock says that's not unusual.
"When they get out they try to successfully transition they try to find
people to trust. It's impossible. They don't trust you, they don't trust
the establishment, they sure don't trust the VA," Comstock said.
Comstock is part of the organization Purple Heart of New Mexico. One of
the programs they offer is a mentoring program for veterans returning
from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Comstock said a good number of
the vets show signs of PTSD.
Comstock said the program is successful, but more needs to be done to
help veterans like Ellis.
"They've seen more combat hours than we did in Vietnam, Korean War,
World War II all together, you think we had problems," he said.
Comstock said he believes the current system to treat PTSD is
inadequate. He said if things don't change, we will see suicides and
instances of suicide by cop involving veterans.