The bat-wielding man fatally shot by a police officer in Manhasset has been identified as a Maryland resident whose parents said he was mentally ill for decades, ever since he saw his best friend lying dead of gunshot wounds on the street.
Michael Delloyd Ward, 46, was killed Monday after a road rage incident in which he attacked two van drivers who had honked at him, then came at an officer with his bat, Nassau police said. The officer Tasered him and ordered him to drop the bat but Ward continued his threatening approach until he was hit by one of two bullets, authorities said.
On Wednesday, his family drove up to East Meadow and plan to identify him and claim his body Thursday at the medical examiner’s office.
Linda and Ronald Ward said they have been in pain not just over the way their son died but over allegations that their son, who lived in Fort Washington, had gone on a New York City crime spree, including stealing a car and fatally striking a pedestrian in Brooklyn just before 4 a.m. Then in Manhasset, he smashed the windows of two vans and used his bat to hit the head of one of the van drivers who confronted him. He was shot dead about 11:30 a.m.
“My heart bleeds for those families,” said the mother, of Waldorf, Maryland. “Those families are suffering like I’m suffering right now.”
The parents also expressed sympathy for the officer who shot their son.
Ward was a professional boxer, having started the sport at age 7, and he went by the name “Magic Mike Ward” before he quit the sport in his early 20s, when his mental illness took a bigger toll, his parents said.
He had bipolar disorder and also PTSD when he was 19 years old from seeing his friend killed in a shootout at a cabaret, his parents said.
“When Mike came out from the woods from hiding, he [his best friend] was laying in the streets with his brains out,” his mother said. “Ever since then, I’ve lost my son. Mentally, I lost him. He’s suffered.”
Ward had a long criminal record in Maryland and Virginia, though his parents said he was not prone to violence.
The parents had filed a “critical” missing person report with local police Monday because of Ward’s mental health. Later that night, detectives went to the father’s Fort Washington home with the tragic news.