Family: Shooting suspect battled lifelong mental illness and depression

October 11, 2018 07:53 AM

As the investigation continues Wednesday evening, several families are grieving, including loved ones of the deceased shooter. 

In an interview Wednesday, Terrell Blake's aunt Juliet Blake-Lavan says Blake battled lifelong mental health issues and depression. 


"Depression is terrible," said Blake-Lavan. "It's so bad, it's so bad." 

"My nephew struggled every day," added the Aunt. The family tells News10NBC they don't know what sparked Wednesday's shooting, including why Blake targeted his own son. 

And while Blake-Lavan doesn't condone her nephew's actions, she wants those watching to know he wasn't violent, just troubled. "No matter what people think about TJ, he had family who loved him and he got cloudy," said the aunt.  

Rochester Police haven't confirmed a motive or if the shooting was premeditated. In a press conference Wednesday evening, police said Blake had a prior record but didn't go into details.

News10NBC did uncover that Blake served six years for forgery and was released from prison in 2016. 

The deceased female victim was the mother of Blake's child. One of the male victims, who is now hospitalized, was her boyfriend.

Blake's family claims there wasn't an issue with domestic violence and tells News10NBC the pair haven't been together since their baby was born, and she's now four. 

"We raised him and no matter what he was a loveable kid," said the aunt as she broke down in tears. 

The two surviving victims, including Blake's own son, are in stable condition at the hospital and are expected to recover. 


Beth Cefalu

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