Family of veteran with PTSD who was shot in officer involved shooting, opens up

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“He wasn’t like this forever,” Alda Messner, Todd’s Wife, said. “He was a family man. We did lots of things as a family. He wasn’t just some crazy guy with a gun.”

Alda says post traumatic stress disorder from serving in the National Guard in the Iraq War changed him, and Friday’s incident with police wasn’t the first time his P.T.S.D caused him to do something dangerous.

“He had a break down, he did some damage to the neighbor’s house,” Alda said.

In January 2015 Messner poured gasoline on his neighbor’s cabin, trying to burn it.

Alda says he was taken to a psych hospital, got medication, served time in jail, moved back in with his family, for three years. This past April he stopped taking his medication.

Alda says the V.A. in Altoona said Messner had to commit himself there to be treated. She gave him an ultimatum.

“I told him if you’re not going to take your meds you need to leave,” Alda, said. “I don’t want you around the kids, I don’t know what you’re going to do.”

Messner moved in with his mother Sandra Messner in April.

On July 18th Sandra says state troopers picked up messner on a 302 medical warrant allowing them to take him to an emergency room for an involuntary medical evaluation.

But Sandra says the doctor never evaluated her son.

A week later and the day before he was shot and killed by police she says she saw him with a gun.

“He was holding a gun up at his neck,” Sandra, said. “I said, “Put that down.” He put it away and I didn’t see it.””

State police trooper Joseph Dunsmore tells me state police could hold a news conference on the shooting as early as this Wednesday.

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