Loved ones: Mental health a factor with Gurley man charged with attempted murder of officer, deputy

'I think if he was in his right mind, I don’t think he would have pulled out any weapons on law enforcement.'

Posted: Jun 18, 2021 5:00 PM
Updated: Jun 18, 2021 6:24 PM

WAAY 31 has new information on a police officer-involved shooting in Gurley.

On Friday, WAAY 31 learned the man accused of shooting at police before being shot is Chris Matthews. 

Brent Patterson with the Madison County Sheriff's Office said he was shot two times, but his injuries are not life-threatening.

Matthews has been charged with two counts of attempted murder, in addition to other charges. The sheriff's office said he shot at one of its deputies and a Gurley Police Department officer. (Read more about that HERE)

Friends and family of Matthews told WAAY 31 that he's been suffering with mental health and drug issues since both his mom and grandmother passed away not too long ago. They said he never would have shot at law enforcement before his mental health started to decline. 

Matthews' lifelong friend, Dyerius Moore, said he hasn't been himself recently.

“He was pretty much to himself and it was just like you didn’t even know him anymore," said Moore.

Matthews' uncle said he saw him not too long ago, but the Chris Matthews he saw was like a total stranger. 

Moore said he'd been worried about his lifelong friend, and so were others. 

"Chris was suffering from mental health issues," said Moore. "Some people reached to get Chris help but there was a slack with the mental health community.”

Thursday night, Matthews was confronted with a search warrant, but it ended as an officer-involved shooting.

“I’d say between 8:30, 9. A couple of, we thought were fireworks, turns out to be gunshots. It was like ‘Pow, pow, pow,’ and then a silence and then, ‘Pow, pow,'" said a neighbor who lives near the shooting scene. 

She says Wood Street is very calm and quiet, so she was surprised that this happened. She was also surprised to find out the man she's seen walking down her street was involved in the shooting. 

So were Moore and Matthews' uncle. 

“I know Chris and I don’t, I think if he was in his right mind, I don’t think he would have pulled out any weapons on law enforcement," said Moore.

The Madison County Sheriff's Office is investigating the officer-involved shooting. Gurley Police said it has no comment.

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