Chattanooga shooter confirmed as depressed

Posted: July 21, 2015 in Uncategorized

Chattanooga shooter Mohammad Abdulazeez told a friend that ISIS was “doing wrong” and “it was a stupid group and it was completely against Islam,” the friend told CNN on Monday.

The friend, James Petty, also said that Abdulazeez taught him how to shoot an AR-15 assault rifle and that the two would practice in the woods.

The revelations about Abdulazeez came as sources told CNN that writings uncovered by investigators indicated Abdulazeez was displeased with the U.S. government, particularly its war on terror.

The writings are not thought to be recent — some are more than a year old, predating his much-publicized trip to Jordan — and should not be considered a diary of any sort, according to a person familiar with the family’s interviews with investigators and a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation.

The writings also include other anti-U.S. sentiments and are consistent with someone who is having suicidal thoughts, the sources said.

As the country mourns the deaths of five service members gunned down Thursday in Tennessee, investigators in both the United States and Jordan are trying to learn what prompted the attack.

Abdulazeez first shot up a military recruiting center at a Chattanooga strip mall, then drove to a local Navy operations support center and launched another attack, killing four Marines and a sailor. Abdulazeez died in a gunfight with law enforcement.

New details have emerged over the past few days. Among them:

• Abdulazeez suffered from depression and “was not the son we knew and loved,” his family said in a statement over the weekend. “We extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the families of the honorable service members and police officers who were victims of the shooting our son committed on Thursday.” A police officer was among the wounded.

• The family has also told investigators the 24-year-old had been abusing drugs for some time, according to a source familiar with the family’s interviews with investigators. The drugs reportedly included “party drugs” and marijuana. Petty, Abdulazeez’s friend, told CNN that his buddy had a drug problem and used marijuana heavily, to the point that his parents were constantly calling to check on his whereabouts.

• Abdulazeez’s family sent him to Jordan last year to get him away from Chattanooga friends who they said were bad influences on him, the relatives told investigators. According to a family representative who asked for his name not to be used, Abdulazeez’s parents sent him to Jordan to stay with a family, with the hope of getting Abdulazeez away from his life of depression and drug use in Tennessee.

• Some relatives and friends told investigators they detected changes in his behavior after he returned from Jordan last year, a law enforcement official said.

• Jordanian security investigators have interviewed Abdulazeez’s extended family, asking where he went and with whom he spoke, government sources there told CNN.

• Authorities are investigating a text message from Abdulazeez to a friend before the attack, law enforcement sources said. The message included an Islamic verse that says, “Whoever shows enmity to a friend of mine, then I have declared war against him.”

• Abdulazeez had a hard time keeping a job because of his manic depressive/bipolar disorder and drug use, for which he had sought treatment with a psychiatrist, according to the source familiar with the family’s interviews.

• “It grieves us beyond belief to know that his pain found its expression in this heinous act of violence,” the Abdulazeez family said in its statement.

• Abdulazeez’s parents knew their son owned guns and wanted him to give them up, according to the family representative. He allegedly refused, saying he was an adult. Abdulazeez’s parents also tried to get him to seek substance abuse treatment, but he refused that also, the representative said.

Muslim community condemns

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