Family of man who killed himself during standoff raising awareness about mental illness

Terrance Duncan held officers at bay during an hours-long standoff that ended when police say Duncan killed himself.
Published: Nov. 4, 2022 at 6:26 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - For the first time, the family of a man who had all our attention Monday in downtown Mobile is speaking out.

Terrance Duncan held officers at bay during an hours-long standoff that ended when police say Duncan killed himself.

His family and police believe he was suffering from mental illness.

Now, the family is raising awareness on mental health issues.

Although it was a difficult conversation for them to have, they want his story to be told.

They say what we all saw play out Monday has been building up for more than ten years.

“We really didn’t know what to do except pray and wait on the police but it was hard,” Beverly Duncan, his mother said. “It was torture. It was torture, just sitting there watching him.”

It’s been five days since they watched in silence as their loved one held police at bay during an hours-long standoff in downtown Mobile.

Monday morning, Duncan drove himself to Government Plaza, refusing to get out of his car for five hours, placing a gun to his head several times.

His family found out what was going on, by watching it unfold on the news. They immediately rushed downtown.

Joycelynn Duncan, one of his daughters, says family members tried speaking with Duncan on the phone to get him to leave.

“He told her he was not leaving until he got the answers that he needed,” Joycelynn said. “But we don’t even know what the answers are that he needed.”

Eventually, swat teams had to deploy tear gas to get Duncan out of the car.

Mental health experts try talking man out of car during Monday’s standoff

Police say he died after shooting himself.

Inita Sellers- Duncan, his wife, says that was an outcome the family tried to avoid at all costs.

“We just wish that it hadn’t ended the way that it did but they did everything that they could to get Terrance out that car,” Inita said. “He couldn’t help himself. He couldn’t help himself and he needed some help.”

His mother Beverly says she’s watched him battle with mental health issues long before Monday.

Duncan’s family says they’ve spent years trying to get him the help he needed.

“He was very paranoid he was struggling with something that I watched him, my child, struggle for a year,” Beverly said. “It was like he was dying from the inside out. And I watched him struggle with that day by day.”

Now, as they deal with the loss of a loving father and husband they want something positive to come out of this tragedy.

More conversations centered around mental illness.

“Mental illness is not a black or white thing. It’s not a rich or poor thing. It’s a people thing,” Duncan’s brother-in-law Dominique said. “We need help with this. We need no other family to go through that what happened on Monday.”

A Go Fund Me has been set up as the family begins the process of creating the organization “Walking with Terrence’s Fight”.

So no other family has to go through this.

“We don’t have much but we do have love. So we’re willing to talk to anyone. It doesn’t matter what time or where, we have love,” Inita said.

The family says they’re willing to take this as far as DC to see change brought to the state of Alabama.

A vigil will be held in Mardi Gras Park on Monday at 7:00 for anyone to come out.


Download the FOX10 Weather App. Get life-saving severe weather warnings and alerts for your location no matter where you are. Available free in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.