DOYLINE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The family of the suspect in Friday night’s fatal shooting spoke exclusively to KTAL about what they say led up to the death of Doyline Police Officer William “Billy” Earl Collins Jr.
Collins, who was also a Webster Parish Sheriff’s deputy as well as a Doyline officer, was shot by 59-year-old Mahlon Taylor, whose family said is mentally ill.
“All they say is he deserved it, he’s a cop killer. No, he’s not.. He’s mentally ill,” Tina Taylor said.
Collins was one of three law enforcement officers who first responded to a call for service at a home on Green Tree Street in Doyline, a Webster Parish community about 20 miles east of Shreveport.
Mahlon fired at the officers when they arrived, hitting Collins, who was then rushed to Ochsner LSU Health with life-threatening injuries and later was pronounced dead of those injuries at the hospital.
Tina Taylor, along with her husband’s brother Keith “Cotton” Taylor, said she believes Friday’s shooting could have been prevented if officers allowed Cotton to go into his brother’s house. Cotton Taylor said he is the only one who can calm Mahlon down during his episodes. But he said when he pleaded with deputies, they denied his request.
“If they would have let Cotton, his brother, talk to him, that wouldn’t have happened,” said Linda Hernandez, a close family friend. “The policeman would have been alive and Mahlon would have been right here in his home,” she said.
Hernandez said Mahlon “might have been depressed,” adding, ” We should have done something. We should have tried to get him help.”
Cotton said shortly after the 2014 heart attack when Mahlon started taking medications for his conditions, it changed him and caused a chemical imbalance.
“Mahlon hasn’t been Mahlon since then. I don’t know what, I don’t know why, how, I don’t have the answers to all of these,” Cotton said.
The family said they are sending out their condolences.
“Really really really feel sorry for the officer and his family. I wished it wouldn’t happen, but I can’t change it now,” Cotton said.
Louisiana State Police Bureau of Investigations/Bossier Field Office (LSP BFO) who responded to the scene are serving as the lead investigating agency.
The investigation remains active and ongoing, and charges are pending.