EXCLUSIVE: Auntie, 29, of ‘bipolar schizophrenic’ suspect in Memphis surgeon’s slaying says she was only released from an overnight stay in a mental health hospital — and was in and out of facilities her entire life
Larry Pickens, 29, was charged with first-degree murder earlier this week in the shooting of surgeon Benjamin Mak. His aunt, Louise Pickens, told Newstimesuk.com that her niece had just been released from an overnight mental health hospital and that she ‘shouldn’t be ‘. Also confirms that Pickens suffered from ‘schizophrenic bipolar paranoid disorder’
The aunt of the man accused of shooting Benjamin Mak, a Memphis hand surgeon, said her niece had been released from a mental health hospital before the attack.
Larry Pickens, 29, has been charged with first-degree murder for shooting Mack in an exam room at the Campbell Clinic in Collierville, Tennessee, earlier this week.
Speaking exclusively to Newstimesuk.com, the suspect’s aunt Louise Pickens said her nephew ‘was just in a mental institute, and they let him go and they shouldn’t.’
He explained that Pickens suffered from ‘schizophrenic bipolar paranoid disorder’ and ‘he thought people were after him, people were doing things to him and everything.’
Concerned relatives said Pickens was in and out of mental health hospitals throughout his life as a result of his condition.
Larry Pickens, 29, has been charged with first-degree murder for shooting Mauk in an exam room at the Campbell Clinic in Collierville, Tennessee, on Tuesday.
Dr. Benjamin Mak was murdered in his clinic on Tuesday afternoon
Louise Pickens said the condition “got really bad when she was in 11th grade” and she was repeatedly treated at Lakeside Behavioral Health in Memphis.
Pickens spent the night at Crestwin Behavioral Health less than a week before Dr. Mak was killed, ‘he went in and the next day they let him out,’ he explained.
Adding: ‘They let him go and they shouldn’t.’
Although she doesn’t know why Larry went to see Dr. Mack on Tuesday, Lewis Pickens confirms that Dr. Mack was Larry’s doctor, recalling that ‘the doctor operated on his finger.’
Summing up the sad situation, Louise Pickens added: ‘For my nephew, it’s really sad. And I don’t wish that on anyone.’
Pickens had no prior criminal record in Collierville, but had called the police several times against other people.
In April 2022, she called the police claiming someone had broken into her home.
During that incident, he told officers he was schizophrenic and off his medication, according to local Memphis outlet WATE.
At the home of Dr. Benjamin Mack in Memphis, the hand surgeon was murdered in his clinic on Tuesday
Last year, Pickens reportedly threatened the owners of a faded barbershop because he didn’t like his haircut
In another, more horrific incident, he terrorized staff and customers at a barbershop by allegedly cutting hair.
A barbershop owner said he saw Pickens feel around in his pocket as if he was reaching for a weapon.
He didn’t pull one out, and ended up calling the police to claim someone else had threatened him – which they hadn’t.
The owner of that barber shop told WATE he is concerned for his workers.
‘Someone feels threatened, and whenever we feel threatened, we have to take care of business.
‘I thought he had some kind of mental disorder from his actions and how he carried himself.
‘He was just reaching into his pocket for a gun but he wasn’t pulling out anything to shoot,’ he said.
He was not charged in either incident.
Pickens appeared in court Wednesday and told a judge he did not have a lawyer.
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