CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — Family members of a woman accused of shooting a Clayton County officer said their loved one was in the middle of a mental health crisis Wednesday night as the events unfolded.
The woman, 25-year-old Aiyanah Pryor, was also injured during the series of events when she was shot by an Atlanta Police Department officer in the city, authorities said.
Police were called to Newbury Drive around the 10 p.m. hour Wednesday to respond to a call about a person who was suicidal. Officers said they received three calls about Pryor with the final caller saying they heard gunshots and that an officer was down in the yard.
LaShonda Martin, Pryor's sister-in-law, believes the police did not take the mental health crisis seriously.
“The story comes out and it's like, 'Oh, Aiyanah just went crazy. Start shooting at the cops.' Like, no, that's not how it happened," she said.
The family sent 11Alive security camera video showing officers responding to the home three separate times. Pryor's sister-in-law said the first time, a male officer came out around 9:48 p.m., but they didn’t feel he understood the gravity of the situation.
“When someone calls you to their place of residence, and says, ‘Hey, my family member isn’t right,’ it should not be dismissed,” LaShonda said.
The family said Clayton County Officer Demika Lloyd and an ambulance responded the second time, but video shows the ambulance leaving around 10:50 p.m. -- after the family said Pryor refused to get inside.
The family said Lloyd then returned by herself after the third 911 call.
“I’m not faulting her [Officer Lloyd], just there should have been some back-up from her," LaShonda said.
The video timestamped at 11:05 p.m. shows the officer rushing Pryor in a yard as Pryor holds something in her hand. Just moments later, Lloyd was shot. In the video below, 11Alive has decided not to show footage of that instance.
“You saw her with a gun on her waist in the mental state she’s in, but you still jump on her," said Marcus Martin, Pryor's brother. "They’re rolling in the backyard, you see my sister get up, and she shot.”
He said his sister had just started a new medication for anxiety and depression.
“My mom told me she had just started psychiatry, so they put her on some kind of medicine," Marcus Martin said.
After the scene unfolded in Clayton County, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said a law enforcement advisory was put out for the description of the car Pryor was traveling in and it was spotted on Polar Rock Road.
"Upon approaching the car, officers gave Pryor verbal commands, including show me your hands," the GBI said in a news release. "Pryor ignored officers’ commands and pulled a handgun, firing at officers. Officers returned fire, hitting Pryor."
No APD officers were hurt when the gunfire erupted. The GBI said Pryor was taken to the Atlanta Medical Center for her injuries. As for Lloyd, the Clayton County officer injured at the first scene, she was taken to Grady Hospital to be treated for her injuries.
Clayton County Police said they have a social worker to respond to mental health calls, but Pryor's family said the social worker never showed up at their home.
LaShonda said Lloyd showed her sister-in-law compassion and prays for her full recovery.
“We're just going to hope for the best for the officer. I really hope and pray she comes out of this because she does not deserve to be hurt over trying to help," LaShonda said.
11Alive asked Clayton County Police about the family's concerns, but a spokesperson said they're not going to comment about that at this time.