At times Scott Robertson could become “on edge” and agitated, remembers Angelika Ullsperger, who shared a home in the 14000 block of Blenheim Road with her mother and Robertson. She called police last weekend after he became disruptive but said she and her mother never felt their lives were in danger.
On the morning of June 22, Ullsperger said she received a call from her mother saying Robertson, 41, had a gun. Ullsperger rushed back to their home and called police, hoping they would help calm him.
“We thought they could de-escalate everything,” Ullsperger said in an interview Thursday.
When police arrived, Ullsperger said she ran out of the home with her mother and another friend, leaving Robertson inside. Officers approached the house and called for Robertson to come out. Police said Robertson walked out of a side door holding the handgun, and an officer yelled for him to drop it. Police said Robertson then raised the gun, “forcing” Officer Wesley Allinson to fire his gun. Robertson was struck and ran back into the house.
Ullsperger has questioned the department’s response, saying that she and her mother attempted to inform officers on the scene that Robertson suffers from PTSD, and that having so many officers approach the house would cause him to become more agitated.
“I tried to tell them, ‘If you come at him with a bunch of people, that would scare him. He’s going to end up dead,’” she said.
After Robertson was shot, police waited before entering the home, unsure if he was still a threat. He bled to death in the basement, Ullsperger said.
Ullsperger said she understands police were concerned because Robertson had a gun but questioned the shooting.
“I’m just hoping that something good can come out of this terrible injustice,” she said.
Ullsperger said she had known Robertson for several years. He worked as a graphic designer and had written and illustrated a children’s book, “Carmen the Cockroach,” that discussed bullying. She said he loved nature and riding his bike.
I'm just hoping that something good can come out of this terrible injustice.
Angelika Ullsperger, Scott Robertson's girlfriend's daughter
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“He was just such a loving person,” she said.
Police spokesman Cpl. Shawn Vinson said the case remains under investigation by the department’s homicide unit, which investigates all officer-involved shootings.
The police department and recently sworn Chief Melissa Hyatt have not released body-worn camera footage from the incident. In the past the department has consulted with the state’s attorney’s office before releasing footage involving a deadly use of force.
“The chief is in communication with the county executive and the state’s attorney’s office to determine the best time to release the body camera footage in an effort to be as transparent as possible without interfering with the investigation,” Vinson said Thursday.
Vinson said the officer who shot Robertson remains on routine administrative leave. Investigators are to submit their findings to the state’s attorney’s office.
Vinson could not say whether the department’s mobile crisis team, which pairs police officers with mental health professionals, responded to the scene.
In 2018, a report ordered by then-County Executive Kevin Kamenetz found the county could better handle emergency situations involving people with mental health issues by hiring more crisis counselors and expanding training for police officers. Kamenetz ordered the review after several incidents, including the police shooting death of Korryn Gaines in her Randallstown apartment in 2016.
The department provides specialized training for officers dealing with “critical incidents” involving people with mental illness or cognitive disabilities.
Vinson said the gun Robertson had in his possession was legally registered to him. Vinson said other guns were inside the home.
State online court records did not show any prior criminal charges, but Robertson’s ex-wife had filed a protective order against him, and he later violated the order. She declined to comment.
According to a statement of charges for the violation of the protective order, on July 24, 2016, police said Robertson had asked his wife to see their children but she later told him the children were uninterested. He then approached her at a grocery store, confronted her and at one point tried to take her cell phone, the document said. When a cashier looked over, he left the store, the document said.