Mental Health in Missoula

by William Skink

Last September, a mentally unstable person walked into a Missoula church and threatened to kill people:

According to an affidavit, a Missoula police officer responded to a report of a man threatening another person with a gun at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Bancroft Street on Sept. 6.

Members of the church said the man, later identified as Wood, came inside and behaved in a threatening manner toward a woman teacher, according to the affidavit.

When several men who were members of the church told him to leave, Wood allegedly opened his vest and revealed a handgun in a holster. According to a witness, the man said, “If I’m going to die, you’re going to die,” then left the church.

Police located Wood, who allegedly had an airsoft pistol in a shoulder holster under his vest, several blocks away and confiscated the weapon. They also confiscated a knife and multi-tool Wood was carrying.

And if anyone needs evidence that our criminal justice system and mental health system is broken, a few months later this mentally unstable individual is back on the streets in Missoula, this time attacking someone with nunchucks:

A Missoula man awaiting sentencing for threatening church-goers with an airsoft pistol in September has been arrested again for allegedly knocking another man unconscious with nunchucks.

Deland Leroy Wood, 49, appeared in Missoula County Justice Court on Wednesday, a day after he was booked into Missoula County jail for felony assault with a weapon.

I guess we’re not hearing the clamor of outrage over our broken mental healthcare system with these incidents because this mentally ill individual hasn’t used a real gun to kill people (yet) and he hasn’t threatened to kill school kids and Jews.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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3 Responses to Mental Health in Missoula

  1. Greg Strandberg says:

    I’d like to add a reason why we’re not hearing much about it.

    The Missoula jail is overcrowded. To remedy this we ship inmates to other counties, costing us more money, or we let them out sooner. I feel that city leaders would rather not talk about this much.

    The way you put this post together, it seems like we have a ticking time-bomb on our hands. It’s hard for me to disagree with that.

  2. I would strongly urge that you look into Wood’s background to see if he is ex-military or had a football career or both. It is easy to hate such people, but their condition can often be explained by outside factors affecting their lives such as PTSD, military indoctrination and brainwashing, physical trauma. He still needs to be gotten off the street, but understanding helps too.

  3. Eric says:

    Perhaps ‘Greyhound Therapy’ is in order – offer them a year in the County Lockup, or a one-way-ticket to San Diego – LOL

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