MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Before his mentally ill son was accused of trying to kill 10 police officers in Miami-Dade County, Shawn Khosravi had asked state legislators and local leaders to take action on reducing the gun violence that is associated with mental illness.
Khosravi is an activist with the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Miami-Dade County, an organization that wants authorities to focus policies and programs on early identification and intervention of mental illness to prevent gun violence.
Khosravi said his 32-year-old son, Aramis Khosravi, was diagnosed with schizophrenia about 15 years ago. On Tuesday night, he picked up a rifle and started shooting. When police officers arrived at the home in Kendall, detectives said he shot at them and three were injured.
"It is puzzling how he got access to firearms after everything we could legally do," Shawn Khosravi told reporters during a news conference Thursday.
The distraught father wore a green mental illness awareness ribbon and bracelet during the news conference, saying Aramis Khosravi, who has a combination of hallucinations and delusions, needs psychiatric treatment and not prison time.
The father said he was grateful officers didn't kill his son.
"I love him very much," he said, adding that his son is a "highly" intelligent college graduate who is kind, caring and loving.
Aramis Khosravi faces 10 counts of attempted murder on a law enforcement officer.
NAMI has lobbied for establishing strong safeguards to protect the privacy of mental health patients whose names are included in federal and state gun reporting databases. Shawn Khosravi said his son's case is one of many around the country.
"I urge [President Donald] Trump and [Gov. Ron] DeSantis and all elected leaders to please pay closer attention to the crisis of guns and mental illness in our communities," the father said, adding he didn't know how his mentally ill son was able to get the rifle.