Bernadette Walker, the mother of Rae Sremmurd, is speaking out just days after her son, Michael Sullivan, was arrested for murdering his own father.
The murder took place Monday (Jan. 6) night in Mississippi. Michael allegedly shot and killed his father Floyd Sullivan in their home. After the shooting, he was reportedly held for a psychiatric evaluation. He allegedly suffers from schizoaffective disorder. Upon his release from the psychological care facility, he was arrested for murder Tuesday (Jan. 7) night.
His mother tells PEOPLE that she believes that she could’ve been her son’s victim.
“I’m not going to say that, ‘Something like this was unexpected,’” she claimed. “Of course even though it wasn’t unexpected, you still don’t expect it. He has threatened me multiple times. This very well could’ve been me. He has shot guns more than once.”
Bernadette claims that Floyd had a “complicated” relationship with his son.
“It was very complicated — they had a very complicated relationship,” she said. “It was sort of heartbreaking, but I felt like the only hope I had was that Floyd would somehow get through to him. But I think Floyd carried on with his own life and Michael just didn’t understand. It’s very complicated.”
Michael had been living between both parents, spending time with his mom in Georgia and living with his father in Tupelo, Mississippi. He also spent time with his half-brothers, Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi, as they went on tour. Bernadette says that she doesn’t know what led to the murder.
“I don’t want to speculate — it could’ve happened to anybody because Michael really didn’t need a rhyme or reason to do anything,” she said. “He was aggressive when he was off his meds, so it could’ve been as simple as asking him to do something that could’ve set him off.”
She claims that Michael had aggressive outbursts when he lived with her. He attacked her and her fiancé multiple times and even jumped on one of Swae’s friends and bodyguards. He went to go live with his father permanently after he caused her to have a black eye.
She said, “My fiancé restrained him physically. He hit both of us and tried to snatch my eye out of my socket. I had a big black eye and even that day, he said we were gonna die.”
Bernadette also criticized the mental health system, saying that they didn’t do enough to help her son, although they were many red flags.
“The mental health system is trash,” she explained. “There were so many red flags. Even before I sent him back to Tupelo, Michael had been hospitalized more than once this year and each time they put him in a facility, they kept him for about two weeks. They didn’t really do anything for him, they just kept him, like babysitting.”
She continued, “There were so many red flags where he should’ve been kept for longer periods of time or put in jail. There were so many times that they just did not do it. The police don’t have the power to arrest someone that someone says has a history of psych problems.”
In the near future, she hopes that Swae and Slim Jxmmi will use their platform to bring awareness to mental illness.
“I thought about talking to my sons about some advocacy for mental health,” she said. “Because they’re young, because they’re in the industry they might be able to have an impact.”