Home WORLD NEWS ‘The family asked for help’: Ex-wife of Florida Publix shooter says Sheriff unfairly blamed relatives

‘The family asked for help’: Ex-wife of Florida Publix shooter says Sheriff unfairly blamed relatives

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The former spouse of the man who police say shot and killed two people in a Publix supermarket last week issued a statement Tuesday expressing “sadness and sorrow” over the murders but also frustration with law enforcement statements insinuating she did not do enough to stop the tragedy.

“We want to express our deepest condolences to the family that was so tragically impacted by the actions of Timothy Wall last week,” said Monica Wall said in a statement. “There are no words that can adequately express the sadness and sorrow that is felt for the family of the victims.”

But in the statement released by Wall’s attorney, Bryan M. Raymond of West Palm Beach, Wall also said she was “disheartened” by Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw’s comments at a press conference shortly after the shootings. Wall feels Bradshaw’s rhetoric insinuated she could have done more to warn about her ex-husband’s potential for violence.

June 11: ‘Brave’ grandmother died after struggling with Florida Publix gunman, who family says had mental health issues

“We are disheartened by the approach that has been taken by the Sheriff of Palm Beach County during this difficult time for all parties involved,” the statement read. “Without knowledge of all the facts, the Sheriff specifically mentioned Mr. Wall’s ex-wife in a press conference and insinuated that she and her family should have done more to prevent this tragedy.”

Bradshaw, at a news conference following the killings, said the “real sad part of this tragedy, other than the fact two innocent victims are dead, is that there was a chance this tragedy could have been stopped.”

Sheriff’s office says it was unaware Timothy Wall was a danger to others

The sheriff’s office responded to Wall’s statement with its own on Tuesday. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office statement said that during the only two domestic disputes between the couple to which the agency ever responded — one on May 27, 2019 and one on June 21, 2019 — “at no time was Timothy Wall’s mental stability every mentioned.”

Bradshaw’s office also reiterated its commitment to helping prevent people who are mentally ill from committing violent crimes, citing the department’s “Behavioral Health Unit” that was formed in 2013.

That unit, which consists of mental health therapists and specially-trained law enforcement deputies, Bradshaw’s office said, was specifically set up to handle high-risk situations with “potentially dangerous individuals who have or may have a mental illness.”

In this case, the sheriff’s office said, they were simply unaware that Timothy Wall was unstable or a danger to himself and others.

A small memorial is set up at the Publix in Royal Palm Beach Friday morning, June 11, 2021, where a man shot and killed a woman and her grandson Thursday before killing himself.

A small memorial is set up at the Publix in Royal Palm Beach Friday morning, June 11, 2021, where a man shot and killed a woman and her grandson Thursday before killing himself.

“Timothy Wall’s family and friends may have been aware of his behavior and should have notified authorities, but by their own admission, the family states, that they are not aware of Mr. Wall receiving any mental health treatment since the divorce in 2019,” the sheriff’s statement read.

About the gunman: Killer made threats against children on social media; family says he was schizophrenic

Family discloses another incident

In addition to the dueling statements, Raymond disclosed another incident in which the family of Wall’s former wife had called police on him.

According to Raymond, the family called PBSO on Oct. 27, 2019 after Timothy Wall showed up unannounced to pick up his daughter from Monica Wall’s sister’s house in Wellington. At that time, Raymond said, the family called the sheriff’s office.

Raymond said PBSO deputies came to the house and asked Timothy Wall to leave after determining he had no parental rights. Raymond said the family told deputies at that incident that Wall was mentally ill and had a gun.

The sheriff’s office, however, said on Tuesday that it had no record of that incident.

Wall was once married to Timothy Wall, who police say shot and killed a toddler and 69-year-old grandmother before killing himself last week at a Publix supermarket in Royal Palm Beach.

The horror unfolded on June 10, when Timothy Wall walked into the Publix in a quiet, middle-class community carrying an APC 45 semi-automatic handgun. He walked to the produce section, where he first shot and killed the child. After struggling with the grandmother for the gun, police and witnesses say, he pushed the woman to the ground and shot and killed her. He then turned the gun on himself.

The sheriff’s office reported that there appears to be no relationship between Timothy Wall and the victims, who seem to have been selected at random.

Monica Wall said she warned sheriff’s office about her ex-husband

Wall, through her attorney and confirmed via public records, said she made it known when she contacted the sheriff’s office in May 2019 that her ex-husband, an unemployed security camera installer at the time, was schizophrenic and had a gun.

‘Our hearts, thoughts’ are with the victims: Publix issues statement about Royal Palm Beach shooting

Sheriff’s records show that Monica Wall requested deputies’ help in 2019 after Timothy Wall refused to vacate the couple’s shared house after their divorce, which Raymond said was finalized in October 2018. Deputies at the time suggested Monica Wall and her daughter stay with friends while she formally evicted her ex-husband, according to records.

Today, attorney Raymond said Monica Wall insists deputies never advised her about the possibility of “Baker Acting” her ex-husband, and that when Raymond discussed it with her she did not even know the possibility existed.

The “Baker Act” is a legal way to commit a person to a mental health facility when that person is deemed to be a danger to themselves or others.

A woman left a teddy bear at a memorial in front of a Publix Super Market in Royal Palm Beach, Florida on June 13, 2021. Timothy Wall shot and killed a 69-year-old grandmother and her toddler grandson inside the store before killing himself on Thursday.

A woman left a teddy bear at a memorial in front of a Publix Super Market in Royal Palm Beach, Florida on June 13, 2021. Timothy Wall shot and killed a 69-year-old grandmother and her toddler grandson inside the store before killing himself on Thursday.

Raymond said Monica Wall repeated her concerns about her ex-husband to PBSO deputies when they arrived to transfer possession of the property after the eviction was finalized. Raymond said at that time, she warned deputies that her ex-husband was unstable and armed, but does not believe a report was ever filed.

“The family asked for help and notified sheriff’s deputies on numerous occasions, formally and informally, that Mr. Wall was in need of mental health services and that he had surprisingly acquired a firearm,” Tuesday’s statement said.

The sheriff’s office said it has no record of that conversation or report.

Timothy Wall had been hospitalized for mental illness treatment, ex-wife said

Monica Wall also said in her statement and through her attorney that, at the urging of both she and Timothy Wall’s family, he had been hospitalized for mental illness and attended psychological counseling. Raymond said that was around the time of the couple’s divorce.

Timothy Wall posted on Facebook before the killings that he wanted to shoot a child, but his Facebook and Instagram accounts have since been deleted by Facebook. Monica Wall said she did not follow her ex-husband on social media and had neither seen nor heard of any such posts. Furthermore, Monica Wall said, she is not aware of any mental health treatment or issues he might have had since the couple’s divorce.

Katie Howey brings flowers to a memorial in front of a Publix Super Market in Royal Palm Beach, Florida on June 13, 2021. Timothy Wall shot and killed a 69-year-old grandmother and her toddler grandson inside the store before killing himself on Thursday. Greg Lovett/The Palm Beach Post

Katie Howey brings flowers to a memorial in front of a Publix Super Market in Royal Palm Beach, Florida on June 13, 2021. Timothy Wall shot and killed a 69-year-old grandmother and her toddler grandson inside the store before killing himself on Thursday. Greg Lovett/The Palm Beach Post

Raymond said his client waited until Tuesday to issue a statement because she did not want to take any focus away from the victim’s families, who are no doubt suffering tremendously, he said.

About the gun: Publix shooter Timothy Wall used .45-caliber handgun to kill toddler, grandmother, self

But Monica Wall did say that she thinks there should be more coordination between law enforcement and the public going forward to ensure tragedies such as this never happen again.

“The appropriate action in the coming days and weeks is to invite discussion with the sheriff about how local agencies can work together with the community to better provide information and services for those that suffer with mental illness,” the statement said.

Raymond said his client is hopeful the sheriff’s office will take her up on her offer.

Follow Wendy Rhodes on Twitter: @WendyRhodesFL

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Monica Wall, ex-wife of accused Publix shooter, issues statement

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