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Man killed by Houston police was ‘battling his demons,’ mother says

Houston Chronicle logo Houston Chronicle 8/7/2020 By Julian Gill, Staff writer
a couple of people posing for the camera: Ashton Broussard, 30, was shot and killed by an off-duty Houston police sergeant last Tuesday, Aug. 4, after he reportedly attacked a security guard and stole her weapon. © Courtesy Of Anita Willie / Courtesy Of Anita Willie

Ashton Broussard, 30, was shot and killed by an off-duty Houston police sergeant last Tuesday, Aug. 4, after he reportedly attacked a security guard and stole her weapon.

The man killed earlier this week by Houston police has been identified as Ashton Broussard, a former barber in Houston who battled mental health issues, according to his mother Anita Willie.

An off-duty Houston police sergeant shot Broussard, 30, on Tuesday after he attacked a security guard and took her gun, police say. The sergeant, who was in uniform, confronted Broussard in a downtown Metro bus at the 1900 Travis transit center. The officer said he opened fire when Broussard drew his weapon.

Willie said she hasn’t spoken with police, but the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences on Tuesday informed her of her son’s death. She said he struggled with substance abuse and depression. He also appeared to be schizophrenic and was “spiraling” in the last few weeks of his life, she said.

“I felt like this was his way out,” she told the Houston Chronicle. “The way I saw it, as a mother, he didn’t kill himself, he let the police kill him. Because he could have easily killed someone on the bus.”

Willie said she tried to get him help. She said police previously took him for a psychiatric evaluation at a local hospital because he was having hallucinations. He was eventually released, she said.

Broussard’s criminal history in Houston includes charges of assault, drug possession and evading arrest. Willie believes he was involved in more than one altercation in Houston over the last few weeks. One of his friends also overdosed earlier this week, she said.

She added that her son was “very smart” before he become involved with drugs. He grew up in Houston and worked as a barber. He “had a lot of people that loved him,” she said.

“When he was good, he was real good, but he was battling his demons,” she said. “And I guess it got the best of him.”

julian.gill@chron.com

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