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January 5, 2013

Parents: Former Marine killed by sheriff's deputy had PTSD

(Continued)

An autopsy was performed Monday, but the Sheriff’s Department wouldn’t release its findings.

Sheila thinks she may know what her son was thinking in his last living moments, although she said no one will ever really know.

“In Dusty’s head, it wasn’t going to happen. He wasn’t going to jail.” 

Like her son, Sheila suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, from events dating back to her childhood, she said. 

“I know what it is not to have the proper medication and to fight with these demons in (your) head.”

STRUGGLED OFF AND ON

Edward Clark was not home when his son was killed.

“He was a good person,” he said. “Always would help. If I called him up and needed help, he’d be here.”

Edward said his son, who had never hurt anyone before, had been “off and on” struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder.

A couple days before Thanksgiving, Edward had called State Police in hopes that they could help get Dusty to the hospital so he could be evaluated and get treatment for his mental illness, he said.

Dusty was acting strange, Edward said, but not violent. Dusty had never been known to act violently in his life, Edward added.

Police went to his home, Edward said, but could legally do nothing since it appeared Dusty was not a threat to anyone or himself at the time.

Edward said he thinks police training for response to situations like the one that ended Dusty’s life is too aggressive.

“Personally, I think it’s a little too much force.”

‘DIDN’T FIT IN THIS WORLD’

Dusty’s name wasn’t a nickname, Sheila said.

“His father had a car — it was a Plymouth Duster,” she recalled. “When I was pregnant, he said, ‘Do you mind if we name (the baby) Dusty if he’s a boy?’

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