The family of Paul Boyd, the 39-year-old Canadian animator who was gunned down by police on Aug. 13, has released a statement to the media in an effort to let people know who Paul was and explain the mental disorder that contributed to the tragic event. The statement paints the picture of a physically imposing but intelligent, gentle and talented artist who has been suffering from a bipolar disorder that caused him to be depressed and extremely paranoid at times.
For the past 15 years, Boyd had been steadily employed by a number of different animation studios in Vancouver, working as a director and animator on such television shows as Ed, Edd ‘n Eddy, The Mr. Hell Show, Gary Larson’s Tales From the Far Side and Mucha Lucha! He was apparently well liked and few people knew of the affliction he had been battling for nearly 20 years.
‘Most of the time he was well and few would have guessed that he suffered from any kind of mental disorder, but periodically he would suffer periods of mania and depression which could produce vivid paranoid delusions that made him fear imagined threats,’ the statement reads. ‘Over and over he faced these setbacks and bravely climbed back out of the depths of his illness and was able to work productively and enjoy a satisfying life.’
At the time of his death, Boyd was reportedly in midst of one of his paranoid episodes and police who responded to a 911 call say he threatened them with a potentially lethal weapon. While the Vancouver Police Department holds that the officers acted in self defense, eye witnesses have come forward saying the police used excessive force, continuing to fire shots as Boyd was on his knees.
‘His actions during his last tragic moments on earth were not part of his personality but were a result of the irrational fear produced by his illness,’ Boyd’s family states. ‘Paul loved his family dearly and was loved by all who knew him well. He will be greatly missed by his parents, two sisters, his niece and nephew, and by his extended family and many friends. Our son and brother died a tragic death.’
The family asks that its privacy be respected so it can be left in peace to mourn the loss. The incident is still under investigation and the family has not yet indicated whether or not it will take legal action against the police department.