A mother is talking about the death of her son, shot by police during an encounter earlier this week. It happened Monday at an apartment on Suncrest Drive in Pigeon Forge.
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The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says Samuel Talbott had a knife and refused to drop it. Things escalated and one of the officers fired. After the shooting, Talbott’s mother took to social media to share her version of what happened.
Things had been snowballing
The family says things have been snowballing for a while. They say Talbott had fallen on hard times, been in and out of jail and rehab. They say Talbott recently missed a meeting with his probation officer and knew there would be warrants.
“He never met a stranger. He always looked on the positive side,” said his mom, Patty Talbott.
She says her son died while she was standing right by his side.
“I’m numb. I also have a feeling of relief because things were going so bad for so long,” she said.
Patty Talbott explained what happened when they heard a knock at their door on Monday.
“He said, ‘Mom, it’s the police.’ and I said, ‘Well, go open the door and let them in and let’s talk this over.’ And he said, “No, mom, I’m not going to do it. I’m not going to do it.'”
Instead, she says Samuel Talbott went to her back balcony and spoke with officers. She says that’s when he threatened to kill himself.
“He was just pleading with them because he was terrified to go back to that jail,” said Patty Talbott.
‘Mom, I love you. I love you so much’
She remembers officers commanding her son to put down a knife he was holding and that he grabbed her tight while officers came inside the home.
“He kept telling me the whole time, ‘Mom, I love you. I love you so much,'” she said.
During this, Patty Talbott says her son “never threatened her.”
“The last thing I heard was, ‘Sam, put down the knife.’ And then they just fired the shot and then blood just spattered all over me,” she said.
She believes this is how her son wanted it to end though she describes those moments since as a nightmare.
Family has questions
Days later, the family says they’re not pointing blame at the officers, but they have questions.
“I don’t understand why when someone is threatening suicide, why you don’t call in a mobile crisis or chaplain, someone who is more equipped to talk to an individual,” said Patty Talbott.
She wants the community to know her son had an incredible heart.
“He was my child. He did have a heart. He did have a soul. He just got absolutely lost in a dark hole of drugs,” Patty Talbott said.