Pleasant Hill, Ore. -- Kim Boyd says her brother Billy, who had just gotten out of prison six-months ago after serving over 17 years for attempted murder beat her, choked her, and tried to kill her on Friday when she was forced to kill him in order to save herself.
"It was either his life or mine," said Kim.
Kenny Liverett is a friend of the family and he says he was the first person at the house after Kim pulled the trigger and he says the family is trying to do all they can to heal.
"I'm numb," said Liverett. "You walk into a place like that totally unexpected. You see it on TV, (but) to walk in and to see a friend of yours pointing a loaded gun at someone dead on the floor. It's hard to wrap your head around what went on we are all trying to look on the bright side that Kim is OK."
Kim says Billy had schizophrenia and would sometimes go into manic states, leaving her helpless -- ultimately leading her to make the hardest choice of his life or hers.
"He wasn't my brother at that time and that's the only way I am able to justify," said Kim.
The Boyd family lost a brother, a son, a loved one, but they say it was far before Friday. They say they lost him 20 years ago and they say it was all at the hands of the failing mental health system in our nation:
Kim says when Billy was released from prison there was no support and no availability for him to get the help he so desperately needed.
As a member of her family, she says it broke her heart to see what could happen to him.
"I didn't want to see my brother helpless, homeless, pan-handling, or maybe endangering somebody else's life," said Kim.
So she took him in to live with her.
Kim said their family tried to get him into countless rehabilitation programs.
"I tried to get him into Sponsors. I tried to get him into White City... I tried to get him some counseling," she continued.
But she said every time she was either put on a waiting list so long that things couldn't progress or just straight up turned away
"Mental Health said it was above (their) pay-grade," she said.
She says at any point in the six-months since he was released from jail, if anyone or any service had been able to help intervene, this wouldn't have happened and her brother Billy might still be alive.
Now she wants to raise awareness for the severe mental health crisis she says we have in our nation.
"My advice to anybody that thinks they can help a mentally disturbed person it might not be a good idea to let them into your home," she said.
The Boyd family said if any good can come from this it will be an increase in care for the mentally ill, especially prisoners after they are released.
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