Dalian Atkinson death: Former Aston Villa star had 'threatened to kill father' before Taser tragedy, reports say
Former Aston Villa footballer Dalian Atkinson reportedly threatened to kill his elderly father in a "manic state" before he was Tasered by police.
The 48-year-old died 90 minutes after he was hit by the stun gun in the street where he grew up in the Trench area of Telford, Shropshire, in the early hours of Monday morning.
According to relatives Mr Atkinson was suffering from a number of health issues and had a weak heart when he was hit by the weapon at around 1.30am.
The retired sportsman went into cardiac arrest in an ambulance on his way to hospital and medics were unable to save him.
The death is now under investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), the police watchdog who investigate all instances when a Taser is used.
Mr Atkinson's brother, Kenroy, 53, is quoted in today's Sun newspaper saying that the ex-Premier League star had undergone dialysis for kidney failure and was "not in his right mind".
He reportedly his brother had attacked their 85-year-old father, Ernest, at his home on Monday before police were called to the scene.
"My brother had lost it. He was in a manic state and depressed - out of his mind and ranting. He had a tube in his shoulder for the dialysis and he had ripped it out and was covered in blood," he is quoted as telling the newspaper.
"He got dad by the throat and said he was going to kill him. He told dad he had already killed me, our brother Paul and sister Elaine and he had come for him. He was not in his right mind.
"We are all devastated. Our family is heartbroken."
Using barbed wires fired at a suspect, the shock delivered by a Taser can be thousands of volts in strength and is intended to immobilise.
West Mercia Police said officers were called amid concerns "for the safety of an individual" and then deployed the stun guns.
Mr Atkinson was a top-flight striker in the 1990s, starting his career at Ipswich Town then playing for Sheffield Wednesday and Spanish side Real Sociedad before moving to Villa.
He scored 23 goals in 85 appearances for the Birmingham side between 1991 and 1995, before going on to play less successfully for teams including Turkish side Fenerbahce and Manchester City. He ended his playing career in South Korea in 2001.
Mr Atkinson's former friend and team-mate, Carlton Palmer, said he had struggled after his sporting career ended.
"It can be difficult for players when they finish and I know Dalian found it difficult," Palmer told Press Association Sport. "When you finish as a footballer, all of a sudden at 34 or 35 you have no routine and no structure to your life, and that can be a major problem. It can be a very dangerous spiral and unfortunately that's what it was for Dalian."
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