Recent mass shooters weird, scary in different ways
By Eric Noevere
Editor’s note: In Part 3, Eric Noevere, who is both a firearms expert and medical professional, concludes his series with a close-up look at the psyches of recent mass shooters.
USA – Let’s now look at the three pathetic individuals who committed the recent atrocities. In Las Vegas, the killer, age 64, had no history of past violence or criminality himself, but had a father who was described as a “psychopath” by the FBI when dad was on the Most Wanted List as a bank robber. The killer had two previous marriages and was in a serious relationship at the time he committed the massacre. He was likely addicted to gambling.
According to reliable sources, he did not drink. He started acquiring his arsenal about a year before the shooting. He did a lot of planning — right up to doing ballistic calculations just before he started shooting.
He sent his girlfriend $100,000 to buy herself and her family a house in the Philippines. This is not really typical of a psychopath since it indicates he may have actually cared about his girlfriend. It is impossible to make a real diagnosis without an interview by a psychiatrist, but I believe “psychopath” is an accurate description. He gave zero warning signs. The hard disk from his laptop was gone, so no idea what he may have been exploring online. If there is some kind of ideological component, the investigators have yet to disclose any, although ISIS claims him as a soldier.
You have a highly intelligent, rich individual, who is well organized mentally, and is intent on mass murder. I feel if one method had been removed — the guns – chances are he would have switched to another method such as explosives. For example, decades ago the Oklahoma City bombing attack killed many more people. This guy in some ways was like an evil anti-hero in a James Bond movie — hard to stop! He was like the Oklahoma bomber — no warning, until BANG!
Sutherland, Texas is a different situation. We have a 26-year-old killer who recently had an altercation with his ex mother-in-law who attended the church he attacked. He had a history of domestic violence, having been convicted in 2012 of charges of assaulting his wife and her infant child. The child’s skull was fractured! He had also been charged with cruelty to animals. He bought all his guns through regular dealers since the Air Force had failed to report the crimes of domestic violence to the National Instant Criminal Check System (NICS) system.
If the crimes had been reported, he would not have been able to buy his guns legally. This killer went into a church, which sources report was posted against legally carried firearms. He was stopped by an armed citizen who ran over from across the street with his own rifle, engaged the killer and wounded him — causing him to flee and then shoot himself. This would never have happened if the killer had been rotting in a military Brig.
In my opinion a one-year sentence for fracturing a baby’s skull is ridiculous. He should have been tried for attempted murder of an infant and spent at least 10-20 years in prison. While confined, he had been treated for an undisclosed psychiatric illness and escaped from the institution briefly. I suspect this individual was a sociopath, not a psychopath. His crimes appear to have been impulsive and in reaction to events prior to the mass murder.
Sociopaths tend to commit fewer crimes as they age — he certainly needed more time inside the Brig. The NICS system is useless if reports are not made to it from the relevant authorities. How this happened I’m sure is being investigated and those at fault need to be punished. Church shootings are not rare, or new. If there had been a legally armed member of the congregation present, the killer might have been stopped sooner. Gun free zones in my opinion are a very bad idea.
The shooter in Rancho Tehema, Calif. was somewhat different from the other two. At age 44, he suffered from a worsening mental illness, according to his sister who lives here in North Carolina.
He killed his wife the day before setting out on his rampage. He murdered another four people, including a neighbor who had a restraining order on him. He shot into an elementary school injuring numerous children. He had been charged with a felony in a knife attack on a neighbor in January and was free on $160,000 bail. There had been numerous complaints about him shooting at neighbors’ houses since his release on bail.
Per a recent report from the Citizen’s Committee on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA), the office of Sheriff Phil Johnston of Rancho Tehema County was aware of reports that the killer was in possession of and firing weapons on his property before the rampage. The killer had been prohibited from possessing guns since being given bail to await trial on felony charges.
The killer reported to the sheriff that he had turned in one gun to a gun dealer after being charged in January. The Sheriff stated they rely on “the honor system” for people turning in weapons!? The killer was never confronted by law enforcement, even after shooting at his neighbors, when he should not have had guns.
The excuse from the Sheriff was that the killer was: “not law enforcement friendly.” The killer at the time of his death had two AR-15 type rifles he had built from parts kits, plus his wife’s handgun and a handgun he had bought in 2009 in North Carolina. So much for the honor system!
It is legal to buy what are called 80 percent receivers without a background check. Building a gun from an 80 percent receiver requires skill, and tools like a drill press are needed. These are very rarely used in crimes. In any case, he still had two handguns that he should not have had. Putting this killer in a neat box is not so easy since it seems he was impulsive in some of his behaviors, but could plan and organize. His behavior was alarming to others making his behavior more typical of a sociopath than a psychopath.
This killer was waving red flags constantly but the local law did not do its job! They should have gone to his house, searched it, and arrested him.