ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC-TV) – – We’re learning more about who Terrell Blake was.
His Aunt Juliet was overcome with emotion following everything that took place on Wednesday. She’s saddened for the victims but wants people to know her nephew had been struggling.
“I can not believe this,” said Juliet Blake-Lavan, “I feel so terrible. I’m feeling so bad for the girl. I’m feeling so bad for the dude and I’m feeling so bad for my great nephew.”
Relatives tell us Terrell Blake was the son of Joy Powell, a prominent anti-violence activist in Rochester during the 1990’s.
In the early 2000’s, Powell was convicted of burglary and assault. She was later convicted for a murder that took place in 1992 and is currently serving 25 years to life.
Blake has a criminal history and was no stranger to violence. In 2002, he was shot and wounded outside a convenience store.
In 2010, he was convicted of criminal possession of a forged instrument and spent six years in prison. He was released in August 2016.
Blake-Lavan says her nephew had been struggling with mental illness prior to Wednesday’s fatal shooting.
“He suffered from mental illness and I received a call early this morning like nine-something that TJ had spiraled,” said Blake-Lavan.
Blake-Lavan says she called police when everything was unfolding and pleaded with them not to kill him.
By the time she arrived at the scene, it was too late. Family members understand the magnitude of what he did but hope today’s events don’t define Terrell Blake’s life.
“His life was far more than just this one incident and I’m so sorry that this incident cost him his life. Mental illness got the best of him but through this I want somebody else to get help,” said Blake-Lavan.
Blake-Lavan says her opinion of her nephew won’t change despite his actions leading to Wednesday’s tragic outcome.