The family of the 25-year-old Pickering man shot dead by police Sunday say they called police because they wanted help for their loved one, who suffered from mental illness.

In a statement released yesterday, the family of Reyal Jensen Jardine-Douglas said they called police and told them Jardine-Douglas had boarded a TTC bus heading southbound on Victoria Park, and that he suffered from mental illness.

The statement, released by the family’s lawyer, Glenn Stuart, said the family called 911 for help “in getting Reyal to a hospital to address mental health problems he was experiencing, including paranoia ... The dispatcher was told on more than one occasion of Reyal’s mental health condition.”

The family said Jardine-Douglas was not exhibiting any violent behaviour when they called police.

On Sunday afternoon, Jardine-Douglas was shot by a Toronto police officer after he fled from the Victoria Park No. 24 bus when it was pulled over by police near Eglinton Avenue East.

Witnesses said police cruisers boxed in the bus and a man bolted through the rear as officers boarded through the front door. According to a witness, three shots were fired in a confrontation. Jardine-Douglas was pronounced dead at Sunnybrook about an hour later.