Mayor Danene Sorace said "the need is clear" for a human-centered solution for mental health services at a press conference Monday afternoon following the fatal police shooting of a Lancaster city resident Ricardo Munoz.

The conference involved Sorace, city council President Ismail Smith-Wade-El and other local leaders on the events that happened on Sept. 13.

"I cannot help but wonder if Mr. Munoz got all the care he needed years ago, could we possibly be in a different place," the city council president said.

Smith-Wade-El joined Sorace in calling Governor Wolf, state legislators, county commissioners, behavioral health experts and police to create a new statewide solution for emergency situations pertaining to mental health.

"We have rolled up our sleeves, done some local analysis we can share about calls for service and are ready to work with these partners to a better way," Sorace said. "However, I am clear, beyond a doubt, that we lack the tools, the resources, the expertise and the capacity to do this on our own.

"I need help. We need help," she added.

'Peaceful protests must prevail'

Sunday evening, police were dispatched to the 300 block of Laurel Street in Lancaster city for a domestic disturbance. After an officer arrived, a man exited the house brandishing a knife.

The man, Ricardo Munoz, sprinted after the officer, according to body camera footage released by the district attorney's office last night. The officer then fatally shot Munoz, sparking a mass of protests in Lancaster city that continued into the overnight hours.

Sorace said she was unaware of rubber bullets or CS gas used on protesters. Earlier in the news conference, Smith-Wade-El displayed a CS gas can he recovered from the protests last night.

The mayor also spoke about the destruction of property and violence last night.

"Let me be clear: There is no place for this in our community and I angst over the potential for any one to be seriously injured," Sorace said. "Peaceful protests must prevail."

During a news conference following initial remarks, LNP | LancasterOnline reporter Sean Sauro asked about the protocol surrounding dispatch for domestic disturbances. Sorace said calls are dispatched prioritized by “importance levels.”

In the case of the domestic disturbance involving Munoz, the officer involved initially responded by himself but other police cars “were en route”  to the location, Sorace said.

LNP | LancasterOnline livestreamed the press conference Monday afternoon. Watch the video below.

Related coverage

What to Read Next