Friend: Man killed during encounter with Madison officer suffere - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Friend: Man killed during encounter with Madison officer suffered from mental illness

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MADISON(WKOW) -- The Department of Justice continues its' investigation into Thursday evening's officer-involved-shooting on Madison East Side in the Wilmar neighborhood.

41-year-old Michael William Schumacher of Fitchburg was shot and killed by police after authorities say he came at them with a pitchfork.  Investigators say prior to this, Schumacher was acting erratically in Lake Monona before he broke into a home.

Schumacher's best friend, Evan Davies says he still can't believe what happened. For a time, Schumacher lived with Davies at an independent mental health facility.

"I just never knew him to go this far to be honest," Davies said.

Davies believes Schumacher had a gifted but troubled mind.  He fears it possibly played a role in the tragedy.

"When he does take his medicine, he's a normal guy," Davies said.   He remembers Schumacher as highly educated, charitable and suffering from mental illness. 

Without medication, Davies said his friend's personality would completely change and he would become violent.

"He would get real wild and crazy," Davies said.  In those instances, Davies recalls how Schumacher would destroy objects, but not others.

"He would be a little bit aggressive, but he would back-off if you told him to," Davies said.

It makes Davies wonder if MPD officers could have de-escalated Thursday night's tragic encounter.

"I think maybe the officer just got nervous and shot him," Davies said.

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