‘They failed my son:’ Parents of 22-year-old killed by officer at Buckhead restaurant speak out

ATLANTA — The parents of the man killed by an officer at a Buckhead restaurant say that police failed their son who was suffering from mental health issues.

Atlanta police shot and killed Nygil Cullins, 22, inside the Fogo de Chao Brazilian steakhouse Wednesday evening.

Investigators said Cullins was a former employee of the restaurant and that he shot a security guard. An APD officer shot and killed Cullins near the front of the restaurant.

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Channel 2′s Darryn Moore spoke with Cullins’ parents Thursday morning. Mya Cullins said she tried to get her son admitted to a hospital hours before the shooting.

She said he left the house before medics and police showed up and he ended up at the restaurant.

“I would have rather for him to be in psychiatric hospital ... [than] in a body bag,” Mya Cullins said.


Police said the incident happened just after 7 p.m. on Wednesday night.

APD said the officer who responded to an unruly customer call used a Taser stun gun on the man, later identified as Nygil Cullins, but it had no effect.

Police said that was when Cullins ran, got his own gun and shot a security guard. The APD officer shot and killed Cullins near the front of the restaurant.

“Our officer did a great job to isolate the subject to the front of the business where no patrons were in harm’s way,” an APD spokesperson said.

Cullins’ father says the system failed his son.

“He had a heart of gold,” Quinten Cullins said.

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