CHAMBLEE, Ga. - A man shot and killed by officers after allegedly going on a shooting spree had a history of mental illness, according to a close family friend.
"I didn't just want people to think that Dave was a man on a shooting spree," his former roommate Alex said. "He was a man with a mental health problem. He was sick and our system failed him."
It all began on Sunday around 1:10 a.m. when officers received reports of a man shot in the hand.
About 10 minutes later, they responded to another report - this one of a person shooting at passing cars in the parking lot of a QuikTrip gas station on Chamblee-Tucker Road.
Chamblee police said one of their officers shot the suspect once and then took him into custody. He later died.
It's a story that came to a tragic end, but Alex wants the public to know that 38-year-old Paul David Johnson had been struggling with mental issues weeks before the series of events that ultimately concluded with his life ending.
The roommate said that less than 2 weeks before, Johnson was admitted to a facility for an ongoing mental health issue. Alex said Johnson's mental health issues included hearing voices and having hallucinations.
"When his brother checked him in, he said when they were in the waiting room there was nobody in the waiting room with them and Dave was saying everybody was talking to him and staring at us, or staring at them," Alex said. "He was like, Dave, there is nobody here. It is just us."
72 hours later, Alex said his longtime friend was discharged.
"He was hurting," Alex said. "They kicked him loose and a week later he was dead."
Alex first heard about the shooting on Sunday while watching the news. Now, as he looks through photos of Johnson, he says he wants mental health funding across the board to be increased.
His aim, to make sure someone else with mental health issues can have them addressed before they spiral out of control.
"I'm hurt. It is a sad, unfortunate turn of events," Alex said. "Somebody that had such a big heart and somebody that cared so much could fall victim to something that they tried so hard to get away from."
Record show Johnson had previously been arrested in DeKalb County. On Tuesday, 11Alive asked Chamblee police if they had previously run into Johnson or if they knew of any mental health issues he was facing. They responded that officers arrested Johnson 4-years before for failing to appear in court.
The circumstances of the officer-involved shooting on Sunday are now part of an investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. This is standard procedure in many departments after one of their own is involved in a shooting.
Police have also identified the officer who fired the shot as Sgt. Brian Calamease, a 19-year law enforcement veteran. He's been with the Chamblee Police Department since 2014. Before that, he worked for DeKalb County Police.