A disabled veteran, Theodore Deschler, of Henderson, Tennessee, was killed during an early morning FBI raid. The family is still looking for answers.
On Wednesday, August 16, eyewitnesses reported the shooting at a home in the city with a population of 6,400, WBBJ reported. The shooting occurred between the hours of 6 and 7 am, and the family is still looking for answers.
According to an interview with Deschler's brother and mother, the FBI has been refusing to tell them why the raid was carried out.
Windows of the Tennessee home were busted through during the early morning raid by the SWAT team.
“There’s three up front and two on the sides they broke out…they were shooting flash…smoke grenades,” Russell Deschler, the brother of the deceased, said.
The team shot through the house hitting the refrigerator, broke limbs on trees, and used flashbang explosives.
“It was a senseless act. You know Teddy was a 100 percent disabled veteran. He had problems. He had severe PTSD. He had depression but he was getting help for it but this was senseless. He didn’t have a weapon on him. He was just trying to get out of the house because it was filled with tear gas," the brother said.
Theodore and Russell's elderly mother said that when she opened the door after they knocked, the SWAT team pulled her out the door and put her in the back of a police car. When she asked why the FBI was there, she was told, “It’s none of your business," by the officers.
The family believes that Theodore was unarmed at the time. “You couldn’t see. The height of the door and where Teddy was standing when they shot him and killed him, you couldn’t see if he was armed or not and you know he wasn’t. Because if you look at the door you could see where his hands were full of blood and went down the door," Russell said.
After the incident, a statement from the FBI stated, "The FBI is reviewing an agent-involved shooting which occurred today at approximately 6:40 am while FBI SWAT was conducting an arrest operation in Henderson, TN."
"The subject is deceased. The FBI takes all shooting incidents involving our agents or task force members seriously. In accordance with FBI policy, the shooting incident is under review by the FBI’s Inspection Division. As this is an ongoing matter, we have no further details to provide,” the statement continued.
Alex Morris, a neighbor, told the WBBJ that he was woken up at around 6 am when he "heard a loud bang and then a couple more."
"Heard the loudspeakers, 'Come out with your hands up, we're the FBI, we're not going anywhere.'" Morris recounted.
Local Henderson law enforcement arrived around 30 minutes after the FBI according to WBBJ. The shooting happened at the intersection of Sanford Street, Hearn Street, and Anderson Circle in the small town.
The family told WBBJ that they are considering a civil lawsuit for the incident.
The shooting occurred within a week of the shooting of Craig Robertson, a man in Provo, Utah who had been posting threatening messages about President Joe Biden as well as other government officials.
FBI representatives reported that Robertson had brandished a revolver during the raid, according to a report from KSL. The law enforcement team used a battering ram to bust through the windows of Robertson's house in the early morning hours of the day, according to eyewitness accounts.
It is still unclear what caused the raid on the Deschler household. Russell Deschler has created a GoFundMe to assist in repairing the destruction of his elderly mother's home which characterized the raid as "senseless and unjustifiable vandalism."
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