The parents of a Florida motorist accused of intentionally running over and killing a cyclist out for a ride with his two young sons said Monday that their son is a talented track and field athlete who struggles with profound mental illness. Michael and Khadeeja Morse told the AP they are devastated and offered their condolences to the family of the victim. Tampa Police said Mikese Morse, a 30-year-old former Olympic hopeful, "purposely drove off the road" Sunday afternoon, cutting across traffic and over a grass easement, killing 42-year-old Pedro Aguerreberry. Morse's parents said that there was nothing purposeful about it—that their son was in the throes of a psychotic break. They said with despair that they were unable to do much over the years to help their son because he is an adult. Morse is charged with premeditated first-degree murder and leaving the scene of a crash with a death and injuries
The Morses say their son has struggled mentally since his early twenties, all while trying to pursue a track career. He qualified for the United States Olympic Trials three times and was a finalist in 2008 and 2016, but never made the team. In recent years, Morse had taken to social media, sometimes making incomprehensible and troubling videos. The parents said they spoke with police and therapists about his rants. Morse appeared visibly angry and increasingly incoherent in videos posted on Instagram Sunday morning. They show him talking about acting in the name of the Lord while walking around a Walmart store. One video ends, "I'm going to kill somebody tonight right now." Aguerreberry was pulling one child in a trailer while his older son followed behind on an off-road bike path when they were hit. All were wearing helmets. Aguerreberry was killed and his 3-year-old, Bennett, was seriously injured. His 8-year-old, Lucas, wasn't seriously hurt.
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