Rodney Hess, 36, was shot and killed by a Crockett County Sheriff's deputy Thursday afternoon in Alamo, Tenn. when authorities said he blocked traffic on the Highway 412 East ramp by parking his car sideways.
The shooting unfolded on Facebook Live as Hess recorded the encounter with police.
Posted by Rodney Hess on Thursday, March 16, 2017
His fiancée wants people to know that Hess was a great father and loved life, and now his family wants answers about how he died.
"He was not on a suicide mission," Johnisha Provost said Friday from her Texas home where she lived with Hess. "He was not trying to harm anybody. He was asking them for help and they shot him down."
Authorities said Hess became "erratic" and when he attempted to use his vehicle to hit officers, a deputy shot him. Hess was taken to the Regional Medical Center in Memphis where he died.
"I found out as it was happening," Provost said. "I was at work and my aunt called me and was like, 'Rodney is in trouble.' He was on Facebook and I logged on and I watched it."
Provost said Hess suffered from bipolar disorder and she could tell from looking at the videos that he was disoriented and lost.
"He couldn't get his mind together. That's why he asked for a higher command," she said. "I always told him, 'Babe, if you are ever in a situation where you need help, ask the person in charge for the higher command to help you,' and that's what he kept saying."
She said Hess was in Tennessee visiting his mother, who lives in the Memphis area. She said he moved to Memphis when he was a teenager and graduated from Kirby High School.
"He had been in Memphis for two days after leaving New Orleans," she said. "He was on his way back home to me and his daughter when they killed him."
Through tears, Provost said Friday she wants justice for the man she shared her life with for the last three years.
"I want people to know he was not a threat. He was a great person. A great dad. A great provider. He just suffered from mental illness and people need to be aware of how to deal with mental illness," Provost said. "They could have just shot his tires out or they could have handled it differently. They didn't have to kill him."
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