Tulsa Frontier is providing in-depth details surrounding the tragic death of a severely ill young man, Joshua Barre. We encourage readers to see the full coverage that the Frontier provides to the state.
Tulsa County Sheriff Vic Regalado told The Frontier on Monday that because Barre wasn’t an immediate threat to the public, deputies didn’t want to escalate the situation to the point use of force would be necessary. Instead, they waited for a future opportunity to complete the mental health pickup in a safer manner. The situation changed when Barre entered the street armed with knives, he said.
“In another view, we hope Joshua’s death wasn’t in vain,” Regalado said.
Regalado said he believes the underlying issue is budget cuts to Oklahoma’s mental health treatment programs and Friday’s shooting might bring the problem front and center.
“We’re starting to see the byproduct of that, if anything comes out of this, community and law enforcement can partner to bring to light that issue,” he said.
“My interest is in what all transpired, what sort of practices were utilized much further upstream with this young man because we know for a fact this had been going on for awhile,” Brose said.
Under Oklahoma statute, law enforcement are the appointed body to transport people to and from mental health facilities when it is determined the individual needs immediate care and is a danger to his or herself or others.
Brose said law enforcement would ideally collaborate with Barre’s family, friends or a mental health professional, to see whether they could persuade him to leave the house to go to treatment.
“Maybe they used all of those options. … But at the same time, he’s very sick", Brose said. “I think we need to explore with law enforcement what sort of other resources, can they, for the future, call upon to assist them in terms of trying to persuade this young man to come out of the house peacefully.”