Local father has difficulty finding help for mentally ill son

8:32 AM, Dec 18, 2012   |    comments
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MAPLE LAKE, Minn. -- Fred Yerke is the father of a 19-year-old son who is mentally ill.

"It's real torn up, there is that part that you want to trust him at the same time you know what he is capable of," Yerke said talking about his son on Monday.

On Friday, when news broke of the massacre in Newtown Fred Yerke knew he had to break his own silence.

"Since this last shooting and other shootings that have happened I'm just thinking, contemplating, this could have been me; this could have been my family," Yerke said.

What Yerke means is his family could have been the shooter's family.

He says Friday was just a wake-up call to start talking about mental illness. The kind he has had to deal with in his son for nearly ten years.

"We have to do more than just control guns; we have to control the people behind the guns that are having these issues," Yerke said.

Yerke isn't supposing what Adam Lanza's mental state might have been, what might have drove him to fire so many rounds of bullets in that elementary school but he does know what it's like to fear, fear his own flesh and blood.

"I was afraid for myself, afraid for my family. I was afraid for the school district, for the teachers because I mean there were incidents where he would throw chairs at teachers be verbally abusive to the principal, I was really concerned," Yerke said.

(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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