TAMPA (WFLA) — The ex-wife of a Florida man who gunned down a 69-year-old grandmother and her 1-year-old grandson inside a Publix last week said she’s “disheartened” by recent comments from Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, who believes the tragedy could’ve been prevented.
Monica Wall released a written statement through her attorney Bryan Raymond on Tuesday, expressing her condolences to the family of the victims.
“We want to express our deepest to the family that was so tragically impacted by the actions of [the gunman] last week,” Wall said in her statement. “There are no words that can adequately express the sadness and sorrow that is felt for the family of the victims. We will continue to pray for those who are suffering.”
Wall said her ex-husband Timothy suffered from mental illness and his family had made “numerous efforts to provide him with the care he needed.”
Wall’s statement said Timothy had been hospitalized with mental illness and had attended various psychological counseling sessions.
“We are not aware of [the shooter’s] involvement with mental health treatment since his Divorce,” Wall said in her statement. The couple legally separated in 2019, according to authorities.
Wall, however, took issue took issue with a statement made by Bradshaw, who claimed the shooter’s family never contacted law enforcement and the tragedy could have been avoided.
“He’s got friends obviously they saw that. His ex-wife said he’s been acting strange, he thinks he’s being followed, he’s paranoid. You think a damn soul told us about that? No, and if it sounds like I’m angry I am,” Sheriff Bradshaw said.
In her statement, Wall said she’s “disheartened by the approach that has been taken by the Sheriff of Palm Beach County during this difficult time for all parties involved.”
“Without knowledge of all the facts, the sheriff specifically mentioned [the gunman’s] ex-wife in a press conference and insinuated that she and her family should have done more to prevent this tragedy,” Wall’s statement read. “The family asked for help and notified sheriff’s deputies on numerous occasions, formally and informally, that [the shooter] was in need of Mental Health Services and that he had surprisingly acquired a firearm.”
Under Florida’s so-called Red Flag Law, a law enforcement agency can seek an order from a judge to seize the firearms of anyone shown to be a danger to themselves or others and hold them for a year. That can be extended if an agency shows the person is still a danger.
It was enacted in 2018 by the Republican-led Legislature shortly after a former student with a history of mental and emotional problems killed 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, less than an hour’s drive from Thursday’s shooting.
Facebook also allows users to report troubling posts and will forward them to law enforcement.
In her statement, Wall said the “appropriate action in the coming days and weeks is to invite discussion with the Sheriff about how local agencies can work together with the community to better provide information and services for those that suffer with mental illness.”