COMPTON, Calif. (KABC) -- A mother whose son is accused of murdering his brother says she believes they would both still be with her if her son, who is now in jail, had gotten the mental health treatment he so obviously needed.
Elenora Washington began to see mental health issues emerge from her son, Gary, late last year. She says he would ask what was wrong with him and she offered to take him to a doctor. For months, she tried to get him help.
"He wasn't crazy, but since the accident, things started happening like... the ringing in the ears, the eyes couldn't stand light. He couldn't watch TV."
Washington says her 19-year-old son was living with his father, attending Yuba College, running track and taking nursing classes - until last August.
A serious car accident left the athlete with a spinal injury and severe whiplash. It put an end to his participation in track and, eventually, his college career.
She says that led to depression and her son eventually coming back to live with her in Compton.
"When I woke up in the morning, I was scared...My son is changing," she said.
Washington's other son, 30-year-old Dejuan Dunn, also lived with her. The young father died on the Fourth of July at the hands of his younger brother, Gary. She said she heard three shots when he was killed.
On various occasions beforehand, she took Gary to the emergency room, called mental health facilities and inevitably was told his age made him an adult who could refuse any services.
"This shouldn't have happened. I lost two boys now, good boys. And one just had a mental issue and all of this could've been prevented if I would've got the mental health services," Washington said.
She said she had one last ditch appointment planned, which their insurance had finally approved in L.A County. Gary had promised to attend.
It was scheduled for the day after the deadly shooting.