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'He fought it. We fought it.' Man who shot son in Fort Worth tells of mental illness toll

Fort Worth Star-Telegram - 2/6/2020

Feb. 6--A solid student, Alex Bush flourished as a child and teenager in all corners of his life. He was an Eagle Scout.

Illness began to take hold of his mind about three years ago, and it did not let go, his father said Wednesday.

At the time of his death in late January at 24 years old, successful and lasting treatment had been elusive.

Michael Bush shot his son on a Saturday afternoon at their far west Fort Worth house.

"He was a brilliant young man," Bush said. "He was outstanding in just about everything he did. Mental illness became his issue."

During what the police described as a dispute, Bush, 72, shot Alex Bush on Jan. 25 in the 300 block of Coach House Circle, and he died at a hospital about an hour later.

Alex Bush died of gunshot wounds in his chest and back, the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office said.

The Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney's Office has not received the case, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.

The police investigation is incomplete.

"Once all the facts have been verified and all evidence has been examined, a decision will be made as to whether or not a criminal charge will be pursued," Officer Buddy Calzada, a Fort Worth police spokesman, wrote in a statement the day after Bush's death.

In a brief interview Wednesday with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Michael Bush declined to describe the dispute or the circumstances of the shooting.

He said that he and others had tried to address Alex Bush's symptoms and found too few solutions.

"He fought it," Michael Bush said. "We fought it."

Alex was known by a shortened version of his middle name. His first name also was Michael. He graduated with honors in December 2017 from Southern Methodist University with a bachelor's degree in environmental science.

"Alex attended All Saints Episcopal School from first grade through his senior year, and graduated in May 2014," according to an obituary his relatives prepared. "He was involved in many activities, including piano, choir, drama, and cross-country track and he always made excellent grades."

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