Ex-Wife Describes Descent Into Mental Illness That Led To Dallas Shooting

Monday, February 16th 2015, 7:33 pm
By: News On 6

We're learning more about the Friday shooting at Dallas-Ft. Worth airport involving two Tulsa County deputies who were escorting an inmate who tried to escape.

The deputies were bringing Brent Taff back to Tulsa to face charges of threatening to kill his ex-wife, a district attorney and a judge.

Shelby Taff said her ex-husband was brilliant, loving and kind - everything a woman could want in a husband.

But, just months after they got married he was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, and when he would spiral out of control Shelby said he got aggressive and even violent.

2/13/2015 Related Story: Tulsa Deputies Shoot Inmate Who Reportedly Attacked Them In Dallas Airport

Finally, she knew it wasn't safe for her and her two small children to be around him.

"He thought his friends and family were out to get him, that's the disease. He thought I was out to get him even though we had his best interest and loved him completely," she said.

Shelby said they went to the V.A. in Muskogee for help and they kept him for two weeks then released him and wanted to prescribe him drugs.

She said they contacted the mental health association and was ordered by a judge to go through 52 weeks of treatment in Creek County, but he quit half way through and nothing happened.

"He would be great, great, great then irritable, irritable, then explosive," Shelby said.

She wrote in her protective order that he choked her, pushed her and threatened to kill anyone that took his children away.

She wishes he could've been helped before the Dallas incident and is glad no one was hurt worse.

Deputy John Werts is recovering after he said Brent attacked him after being allowed to use the restroom at the Dallas airport.

2/14/2015 Related Story: Sapulpa Man Facing New Charges After Shooting At Dallas Airport

Werts said he un-cuffed Brent's right hand from the belly chain around his waist and was re-cuffing it when Brent starting hitting him, sending them both to the ground.

The deputy said he kept one hand on his gun and used the other to subdue Brent, but ended up firing two shots, hitting Brent in the hand and leg.

Brent then ran out of the bathroom and past the deputy posted outside, Sue Nye, who tackled him about 25 feet before he reached an outside exit.

After the shooting, paramedics had to remove Brent's pants to put a tourniquet on his leg to stop the bleeding.

Shelby said she understands Brent has to be held accountable for what he's done, but hopes it can be in a secure facility where he can get help and not just be sent to prison and forgotten.

She would also like to see a better system in place that doesn't just treat mentally ill people for a few days in a crisis, but can provide long term, preventative care.