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Family of man killed by off-duty cop says he has schizophrenia, was never violent

The off-duty officer shot Kelvin White after he allegedly threatened the officer's wife with a knife.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — The family of a man shot and killed by an off-duty police officer said the man has schizophrenia and was never known to be violent.

Kelvin White, 42, was killed after the officer's wife called her husband, saying White reportedly threatened her with a knife.

Tameko Holloway was inside her home and heard the shots.

“I was actually sitting right here and I heard the one gunshot – 'pow'. Then it paused for just a second and then five or six more came behind it.” Holloway said.

Holloway said she ran outside to see what happened. The wife told her that she was walking down the sidewalk with her two children and a stroller when White demanded that she move so he could walk by.

RELATED: Man shot and killed by off-duty Norfolk police officer in Chesapeake

“She said he pulled a knife on her," Holloway said. "She said, that’s when she called her husband and [White] said: ‘Call your husband, I don’t care, I’ll stab him too.’”

But White's family says they don't believe that version of events as such behavior is out of character for him.

"He wasn't a monster. He struggled. But to the point where excessive force was needed, I disagree with that," Khiera Williams said. "If his wife felt threatened, then why didn't she pick up the phone - as I would have - and called Chesapeake police?"

Williams and White share three children together, an 18-year-old daughter and 17-year-old twin boys.

White's siblings, Maurice White and Celestine Stephens noted people with mental health challenges are often poorly understood, even by the police.

"It really hurts," Maurice White said. "I can't explain the pain or how it feels. When I heard the news, I was at work. When I heard it...it took the breath from me."

Celestine Stephens added through tears: "He was a very sweet person. He would actually give you the shirt off his back. He would give you his last."

The family says they want more details about what happened and how the situation escalated to a shooting.

Chesapeake police say when the off-duty officer got to the scene, there was a confrontation. 

Police say the officer identified himself as police, before firing his gun. But investigators have not released any specific details about what happened in the moments before the officer opened fire. 

Another neighbor, Dale Murphy also questioned why the officer's wife called her husband instead of 911.

“I just don’t understand why the lady didn’t call the police," he said. "I’m not calling my brother when a guy comes at me with a knife, I’m calling 911."

“Nothing like this ever happens in this neighborhood – people getting shot. It’s really, really shocking. I come down the road, coming home from work, what the hell is going on. Why do they got my street blocked off?”

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