Daniel McAlpin was a 41 year-old suffering from mental illness. He would have hallucinations that evil spirits lived within his house. McAlpin’ parents said McAlpin had a history of mental illness and was diagnosed with “anxiety disorder” two years before the shooting.
In early March, 2020, McAlpin’s parents called state police their son’s mental health crisis. “It’s just that he needed help and I couldn’t throw him in a car. So (state) Trooper Harder took him and he was hospitalized.” Ironically, it was Trooper Harder who returned to the McAlpin home on the day of the shooting. After spending about 90 minutes with Daniel McAlpin, Harder determined he was not a danger to himself or others, the family lawyer has said.
In September 2022, he again began believing that Satan “was invading the house,” she said.
Mary and David McAlpin were in Maine on the day of the shooting when they received a call from Matt Sloane, who was McAlpin’s boss at the Publik House in Ellenville. Sloane told them their son, a bartender, was “acting very strange,” Mary McAlpin said.
After Sloan’s call, Mary McAlpin called Mobile Mental Health and the couple headed home. Throughout the day they were in constant contact with Mobile Mental Health and with Trooper Harder, she said.
McAlpin asked police to leave but they insisted that he came downstairs according to a legal complaint filed by the family. When he approached them carrying the knife and an orange-tipped Air Soft rifle, Trooper Elias Strickland tazed him.
Trooper Wurtz’s first shot from a 9mm bullet went through a wall leading to the home’s kitchen, and into a china cabinet, shattering some dishes and a pane of glass, Mary McAlpin said. It came to rest somewhere in the kitchen, which was crowded with police and rescue workers, miraculously not hitting any of them, David McAlpin said.
McAlpin was initially shot in the upper right arm by Wurtz.
Pointing to her upper right arm, Mary McAlpin said, “I wish they had stopped there because it would have been a horrible rehab, but we would have (still) had him.”
Instead, Wurtz fired another three rounds at McAlpin. Two of them, according to the lawsuit, were fatal.
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