Seattle Gunman Allegedly Went Off Meds Before Shooting Spree

By Shawn Dwyer 06/11/14

The gunman had a history with obsessive-compulsive disorder and transient psychosis.

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According to prosecutors, the Seattle Pacific University gunman who killed one student and wounded two others on June 5 allegedly stopped taking his medication six months ago that had been prescribed for obsessive-compulsive disorder and transient psychosis.

The 26-year-old shooter from Mountlake Terrace, Wash., had a history of mental illness, as well as a fascination with the shootings at Columbine High School in 1999 and Virginia Tech in 2007. He detailed his plans for the shooting last week in a handwritten journal and reportedly wrote that he wanted to get off his medication because he “wanted to feel the hate."

"I just want people to die, and I'm gonna die with them!" the gunman wrote on the day of the shooting, said King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg. Satterberg filed charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder, and assault against the shooter, who is being held on suicide watch without bail. He was subdued by student monitor-turned-hero Jon Meis, who pepper-sprayed the gunman after student Paul Lee was killed and held him down with another student until the police arrived.

In an interview with police after the shooting, the gunman said that he had no particular group that he was targeting and seemed intent on turning his 12-gauge shotgun on others because of his “hatred of the world in general.”

There was no confirmation of whether or not the shooter was back on his medication, but his public defender, Ramona Brandes, said that “[h]e is cognizant of the suffering of the victims and their families and the entire Seattle Pacific community."

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Shawn Dwyer is a writer, editor and content producer living in Los Angeles. You can find him on Linkedin.