Family of Deaconess shooting victims seek mental health reform - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Family of Deaconess shooting victims seek mental health reform

Posted: Updated:
Family of Deaconess shooting victims seek mental health reform Family of Deaconess shooting victims seek mental health reform
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Standing over a memorial for his daughter, Sheena Henderson, Gary Kennison remembers the pain he felt on July 8th.

"It can be emotional," Kennison said. "It makes me feel proud of my daughter."

Proud of the lives she touched before her husband, Christopher, shot and killed Sheena at Deaconess Hospital before taking his own life.

"He helped everybody and she helped everybody," Kennison said. "But they didn't help him."

Kennison feels a broken mental health system failed his family.

On May 16th, Sheena Henderson called police after Christopher threatened suicide, then disappeared in his van with a firearm on him. It didn't take police long to find him, but they released Christopher three hours later after a short evaluation.

Less than a month later, Christopher Henderson got that firearm back from police, then went to Deaconess Hospital.

"Now I have two beautiful grandchildren that have no parents because that basic, simple call for help was ignored," Kennison said.

So the Kennison family is fighting for new state legislation that would intervene before another family loses loved ones.

Sheena's family and friends spent Monday in Olympia, Washington. They introduced two new bills, and spoke in front of congress in support of "Joel's Law," which would allow family to appeal a court's decision not to refer a family member for involuntary evaluation.

The two bills the family introduced are Sheena's Law and the Sheena Henderson Act.

Sheena's law would allow an officer who encounters someone who's suicidal but not taken into custody to note a need for a mental health evaluation within 12 hours. A mental health professional would then be contacted and would need to fulfill that request.

The Sheena Henderson Act would require, if requested, a law enforcement agency that confiscates a weapon to notify family of the individual it was taken from when a firearm is returned.

"It would be so wonderful to know that my daughter and christopher's legacy would go out as helping others, just like they did in life," Gary Kennison said.

"And you couldn't ask for a better legacy."

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Exposed handlebar grip kills 6-year-old Pullman boy in bicycle crash

    Exposed handlebar grip kills 6-year-old Pullman boy in bicycle crash

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 2:13 AM EDT2018-08-15 06:13:21 GMT

    PULLMAN, Wash. - Six-year-old Denny Curran should be enjoying his last few days of summer before first grade. He should be teasing his brother, splashing in the pool, giving his parents a hard time about vegetables. Instead, Denny is dead, the victim of a horrific, freak bicycle accident that could happen to your child too. "Denny was an extraordinary child," his father Keith Curran told KHQ.

    >>

    PULLMAN, Wash. - Six-year-old Denny Curran should be enjoying his last few days of summer before first grade. He should be teasing his brother, splashing in the pool, giving his parents a hard time about vegetables. Instead, Denny is dead, the victim of a horrific, freak bicycle accident that could happen to your child too. "Denny was an extraordinary child," his father Keith Curran told KHQ.

    >>
  • Spokane police investigating after unknown drug responsible for fatality and 20 calls

    Spokane police investigating after unknown drug responsible for fatality and 20 calls

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 12:23 AM EDT2018-08-15 04:23:12 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Police say they saw a dramatic increase in drug related calls on Tuesday. Police say at least one person has died and officers responded to almost 20 other calls of people acting erratically. Police are looking into whether there is a drug on the street that is "creating adverse health effects." Reported behavior is consistent with a stimulant, causing people to hallucinate and act in an unpredictable and sometimes violent manner.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Police say they saw a dramatic increase in drug related calls on Tuesday. Police say at least one person has died and officers responded to almost 20 other calls of people acting erratically. Police are looking into whether there is a drug on the street that is "creating adverse health effects." Reported behavior is consistent with a stimulant, causing people to hallucinate and act in an unpredictable and sometimes violent manner.

    >>
  • 3 people killed in car crash north of Cusick

    3 people killed in car crash north of Cusick

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 12:49 PM EDT2018-08-15 16:49:30 GMT

    CUSICK, Wash. - The Washington State Patrol says three people were killed in a car crash north of Cusick Wednesday morning.  Trooper Jeff Sevigney tweeted out that the crash happened near the intersection of Leclerc Rd and Cee Cee Ah Creek Rd. Trooper Sevigney said the crash involved one car with five occupants. 

    >>

    CUSICK, Wash. - The Washington State Patrol says three people were killed in a car crash north of Cusick Wednesday morning.  Trooper Jeff Sevigney tweeted out that the crash happened near the intersection of Leclerc Rd and Cee Cee Ah Creek Rd. Trooper Sevigney said the crash involved one car with five occupants. 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Fire crews make quick work of brush fire near Chattaroy

    Fire crews make quick work of brush fire near Chattaroy

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 8:42 PM EDT2018-08-16 00:42:09 GMT

    CHATTAROY, Wash. - Aircraft fighting the Sands fire burning about 7 acres near Chattaroy Wednesday evening have been released from the fire as crews are getting a handle on it.

    >>

    CHATTAROY, Wash. - Aircraft fighting the Sands fire burning about 7 acres near Chattaroy Wednesday evening have been released from the fire as crews are getting a handle on it.

    >>
  • Spokane's smoky air could be having an effect on your car

    Spokane's smoky air could be having an effect on your car

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 8:23 PM EDT2018-08-16 00:23:06 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Fire season is coming in hot, and it's putting stress on an important part of your car. "In some cases I've seen them so plugged to where the car can't even run," Jeremy Dierks, owner of Perfection Tire and Auto Repair, said. Air filters should be replaced every 15,000 miles, but the more you drive in smoke, the quicker they need to be changed.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Fire season is coming in hot, and it's putting stress on an important part of your car. "In some cases I've seen them so plugged to where the car can't even run," Jeremy Dierks, owner of Perfection Tire and Auto Repair, said. Air filters should be replaced every 15,000 miles, but the more you drive in smoke, the quicker they need to be changed.

    >>
  • Boyds fire near Kettle Falls remains near 3,000 acres

    Boyds fire near Kettle Falls remains near 3,000 acres

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 7:53 PM EDT2018-08-15 23:53:54 GMT

    FERRY COUNTY, Wash. - The Boyds Fire burning near Kettle Falls remains at 2,950 acres as of Wednesday afternoon. No containment has been reported for the fire. The fire continues to burn in timber, brush and grass. Approximately 430 structures remain threatened. Three residences were lost in the fire in addition to several outbuildings.

    >>

    FERRY COUNTY, Wash. - The Boyds Fire burning near Kettle Falls remains at 2,950 acres as of Wednesday afternoon. No containment has been reported for the fire. The fire continues to burn in timber, brush and grass. Approximately 430 structures remain threatened. Three residences were lost in the fire in addition to several outbuildings.

    >>