BEND, OR -- Deschutes County's District Attorney has decided not to file any charges against the man involved in a shooting incident at his home on Wickiup Road, last March. Todd Dickerson called 911 claiming a masked intruder broke into his home and shot him. Dickerson eventually admitted to authorities it was a failed suicide attempt.
D.A. John Hummel tells KBND News charging him with filing a false report seemed unnecessary. "Before the shooting, Todd Dickerson was suffering from depression, but no one knew it. He was afraid to have anyone know, so he didn't share it with his wife, friends or co-workers. He was concerned about the stigmatism of mental illness. After the shooting, when he thankfully survived, he said 'enough of this' and got into mental health treatment."
Hummel adds Dickerson is now regularly seeing a therapist. "He's speaking out against mental health stigma and telling people if you're suffering from a mental illness, get help, don't ignore it. He turned his life around. He had no prior record, and for him, the criminal justice system isn't going to do anything for him he hasn't already done for himself."
For Hummel, the case highlights the need for awareness. "We need to take this head-on. No one would think if you had a broken arm not to go to an orthopedic surgeon. If you're struggling with a mental illness, they're embarrassed and feel employers won't value them as an employee, so many people are struggling with the demon inside. If we can just be a society that says, 'enough.'" He says one in five Americans live with a mental disorder and nearly 2/3 of them don't seek treatment.