10 days after the 19-year-old half-brother of Slim Jimmy and Swae Lee allegedly shot and killed his dad and their ex-stepdad (Floyd Sullivan), the mother of that trio (Bernadette Walker) has decided to speak out about that night. according to People.
Floyd, who played a part in raising the rap duo since middle school, died from multiple gunshot wounds on January 6. The shooter, his 19-year-old son Jamil Ali Sullivan (who also goes by Michael), suffers from schizoaffective disorder, according to Walker.
On January 7, it was confirmed by the Tupelo, Mississippi Police Department that Floyd's son was originally put on psychological hold before he was released from a care facility and immediately arrested for murder. At this time, the case continues to be investigated as a homicide.
Walker told People that she believed she could've been the victim on that gruesome night should the circumstances have been slightly different.
“I’m not going to say that, ‘Something like this was unexpected,'” Walker said. “Of course even though it wasn’t unexpected, you still don’t expect it. He has threatened me multiple times. This very well could’ve been me. He has shot guns more than once.”
Michael was living on and off with Bernadette, sometimes living with her in Atlanta, and sometimes going back to Mississippi to live with his dad. He also spent time with Jimmy and Swae while they were touring/performing.
Bernadette further classifies the relationship between Floyd and his son as being "very complicated."
“It was sort of heartbreaking, but I felt like the only hope I had was that Floyd would somehow get through to him," she said. "But I think Floyd carried on with his own life and Michael just didn’t understand. It’s very complicated.”
She says she doesn't know exactly what the motive behind the alleged act was.
"[Michael] was aggressive when he was off his meds," she said. "So it could’ve been as simple as asking him to do something that could’ve set him off.”
“It’s been a few days and everybody’s trying to give them space and let them process what happened,” she said. “It’s still unbelievable. They’re making funeral arrangements and everything. They’re broken but they have to keep on because obviously they still have obligations. They’re just dealing with it as best they can.”
Walker stated that Michael was prone to outbursts. Shortly after the shooting she revealed that he hadn't been taking his prescribed medication since November.
She says that, in the time when Michael was with her, there were multiple instances where he attacked her and her fiancé. She added that he once attacked a friend of Swae Lee's, and that he also had an incident with a bodyguard. As to what led to Michael leaving Atlanta to go live with his dad, she said that occurred after “My fiancé restrained him physically. He (Michael) hit both of us and tried to snatch my eye out of my socket. I had a big black eye and even that day, he said we were gonna die.”
Walker went on to castigate the mental health system for what she considers to be an extremely inefficient and useless model. In doing so she called out everything from the facilities Michael had been to, to some members of staff she had come across. She believes that with the "proper care" early in life Michael could've had his own music career.
“But when you have people that are in positions that they don’t deserve to be in, a lot of times these people are suffering,” she said. “There needs to be some laws passed and there needs to be some funding for mental health because it’s not just Michael.”
She stressed a need for people to take mental health issues more seriously, while also expressing her hope that Swae and Slim can use their platform(s) to raise awareness.
“I thought about talking to my sons about some advocacy for mental health,” she said. “Because they’re young, because they’re in the industry they might be able to have an impact.”