#AMREADING Waiting for Elijah, Kate Wild

So much to unpack from the reading of this book.  Full review to come!

FROM THE BLURB

In 2009, in the NSW country town of Armidale, a mentally ill young man is shot dead by a police officer. Senior Constable Andrew Rich claims he ‘had no choice’ other than to shoot 24-year-old Elijah Holcombe — Elijah had run at him roaring with a knife, he tells police.

Some witnesses to the shooting say otherwise, though, and this act of aggression doesn't fit with the sweet, sensitive, but troubled young man that Elijah's family and friends knew him to be. The shooting devastates Elijah's family and the police officer alike.

So what happened in that Armidale laneway — and how could it have been avoided? Waiting for Elijah is the culmination of journalist Kate Wild's six-year investigation — an investigation that not only seeks to answer these questions, but also poses some vitally important ones of its own: Why is it still taboo to talk about mental illness in our society? Is it fair to expect police to be first responders in mental health crises? If the community insists this job belongs to police, how can these interactions be improved?

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