Facts Reported About the Mass Shootings in California, Ohio And Texas: July-August 2019

This report is as of 7 August 2019.

Three mass shootings and an averted one, all in the spate of eight days, encompassing three states (California, Ohio, and Texas). The suspects were all young—aged between 19 and their early 20s, yet two out of the three shooters had extremist or racist views. One apparently may have been influenced by Social Darwinism or psychological eugenics theories about race inferiority: Police found sedative hypnotic pills in his room in another person’s name, questioning whether he was abusing them.

One was a psychology student who had once spoken of wanting to give up his “medication,” describing himself as having two mental disorders.

Another’s father is a licensed mental health counselor who evaluates persons on whether they are a “threat to themselves or others,” while clearly missing this behavior in his own son.

The three shooters killed 34 and wounded or injured 63.

A 19-year-old boy from Texas who’s plan to commit mass murder was thwarted, had been discharged from the military because of suicidal tendencies, with his treatment at the time unknown. However, police found antidepressants in his hotel room. He is the only one of the four that does not appear to have posted or supported racial or extremist slurs on social media.

29 July 2019: Santino William Legan, 19, went on a shooting spree at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Northern California, killing three, including a 6-year-old boy and 13-year-old girl, and injuring at least 12 more.[1] The gunman shot himself in the mouth and died by suicide, a representative of the coroner’s office said.[2]

During a search of a residence that Legan used in the days prior to the shooting, the FBI found an empty bottle of the anxiety drug diazepam (Valium), although the prescription was not in his name.[3] The postings on his Instagram included a photo of the festival and urged people to read a book that argues power alone can establish moral right.[4] The 1890 book, Might Is Right or The Survival of the Fittest that is related to social Darwinism and psychology-developed eugenics. Brian Levin, director of Cal State San Bernardino’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, said: “The notion that people of color are biologically inferior is a key tenet of this book, and that biological determinism, the Darwinian view of the world, justifies aggression against diverse people and vulnerable people.”[5] Legan graduated from Gilroy High School in 2017.[6] 

3 August 2019: Patrick Crusius, 21, opened fire at a Walmart in East-Central El Paso, Texas, killing 22 and wounding 24. He has been booked on capital murder charges.[7] His father, Bryan, despite being a trained mental health counselor, seems to have failed to assess his son’s violent behavior, and also despite working as an admissions counselor for the recently closed Timberlawn Mental Health System owned by the Universal Health Services in Dallas, Texas, where he conducted “psychological evaluations for patients who may be a danger to themselves or others.” The father has admitted to a 40-year addiction problem, taking drugs including Vicodine, Quaaludes, hallucinogenics, benzodiazepines, antidepressants and drugs commonly prescribed to treat ADHD.[8] He was also a Facility Director at DAPA Psychiatric Programs LLC, in Dallas, a privately held company.[9] Crusius Jr. graduated from Plano Senior High School in 2017 and attended Collin College from the fall of 2017 to the spring of 2019.[10]

Crusius is believed to have authored racist, anti-immigrant document that laid out a dark vision of America overrun by Hispanic immigrants. A police official who came face-to-face with him told CNN that the shooter had a “stone cold look” when he surrendered. Police Chief Greg Allen told reporters that Crusius had been cooperative, though he’s shown no remorse and “appears to be in a state of shock and confusion.”[11] He had been unemployed for five months. [12]

2 August 2019: Averted Mass Shooting—William Patrick Williams, 19, of Lubbock, Texas, was charged with making false statements to a firearms dealer after allegedly telling his grandmother that he bought an AK-47 rifle that he planned to use to “shoot up” a local hotel and then force authorities to kill him. Fearing the teen was homicidal and suicidal, the grandmother convinced him to enter a psychiatric hospital—Covenant Medical Center—on July 13, for evaluation and treatment instead, officials said.[13] A physician told police Williams was in the military for a year and was discharged for suicidal tendencies, according to a Lubbock police report.[14] Williams allowed investigators to search his hotel room where a rifle, 17 loaded magazines, a black trench coat, several knives, black tactical pants and black tactical gloves were found in the room.[15] Antidepressants and a record of his history of depression were also found.[16] He was released to the custody of Covenant medical staff, pending trial.[17] “This was a tragedy averted,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. “I want to praise the defendant’s grandmother, who saved lives by interrupting this plot.”[18] It’s unclear what treatment Williams may have had for his suicidal tendencies while in the military.

4 August 2019:  Connor Betts, 24, opened fire outside a bar in Dayton, Ohio, killing nine people, including his sister and injuring 27.[19] Betts had been studying psychology at a local Sinclair Community College.[20] He was killed by police officers on patrol 30 seconds after he opened fire. He showed potential violence traits in school about a decade ago when he is alleged to have had a “hit list.”[21] A former girlfriend, Caitlyn “Adelia” Johnson, 24, said she’d dated Betts briefly dated this spring and that the two had met in their psychology class at Sinclair Community College. Johnson said Betts told her he was bipolar and had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.[22] A former classmate, Eva Lewis, said she and Betts had a prominent role in their senior musical and that Betts sometimes talked about not taking medication.[23] His medication history is unknown at this point or whether he was taking prescription psychotropic drugs at the time he participated in Bellbrook High School’s Junior ROTC military program.[24] Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl said Betts had an obsession with violence and mass shootings and had expressed a desire to commit a mass shooting, but his writings did not indicate any racial or political motive, although his Twitter account “liked” several tweets about the El Paso shooter being a “terrorist,” and a “white supremacist,” according to a CNN report.[25]

[NB: On February 14, 2018, Nikolas Cruz, 19, went to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and began gunning down former classmates and teachers, killing 17 and injuring 17 others.[26] Cruz had a long history of mental health assessments and treatment. He was also part of the Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) and excelled at shooting, with other cadets calling him the “wolf.”[27]

For more information on the link between psychiatric drugs and violence, read CCHR’s report: Psychiatric Drugs: Create Violence & Suicide.

References:

[1] “At least 3 dead in California garlic festival shooting,” CNN 29 July 2019, https://www.cnn.com/us/live-news/gilroy-california-shooting-intl-hnk/index.html

[2] https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/08/02/gilroy-garlic-festival-shooter-killed-himself-santa-clara-coroner-says/1906374001/

[3] “Extremist Material Found at Home Once Used by Gilroy Garlic Festival Shooter, Source Says,” KTLA5, 31 Jul. 2019, https://ktla.com/2019/07/31/extremist-materials-found-at-home-of-gilroy-garlic-festival-shooter-law-enforcement-source/

[4] https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/07/29/santino-willian-legan-lagan-picture-rifle-might-makes-right/1860828001/

[5] “Disturbing portrait emerges of Gilroy Garlic Festival shooter,” Los Angeles Times, 30 Jul. 2019, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-07-29/gilroy-garlic-festival-shooting-suspect; eugenics and name of book https://archive.org/details/MightIsRightByRagnarRedbeard

[6] “Disturbing portrait emerges of Gilroy Garlic Festival shooter,” Los Angeles Times, 30 Jul. 2019, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-07-29/gilroy-garlic-festival-shooting-suspect

[7] “The Latest: Suspect’s grandparents say they’re ‘devastated’” AP, 3 Aug. 2019, https://www.apnews.com/e64af41d18f449b3b492685827c9f2b9; “Death toll in El Paso shooting climbs to 22,” The Texas Tribune, 5 Aug. 2019, https://www.texastribune.org/2019/08/05/death-toll-el-paso-shooting-climbs-21/; “El Paso Walmart shooting by Cielo Vista Mall: What we know about the number of victims, the suspect,” USA Today, 3 Aug. 2019, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/08/03/el-paso-walmart-shooting-what-we-know-texas-shooting/1911030001/

[8] http://www.dallasaddictionrecoverytherapy.com/bryan-crusius-lpc/;“EXCLUSIVE: El Paso Walmart mass shooter Patrick Crusius’ father admits to nearly 40 years of drug addiction which tore apart his family and claims he has spoken directly to Jesus,” The Daily Mail, 4 Aug. 2019, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7319821/El-Paso-Walmart-shooter-Patrick-Crusius-father-penned-book-life-drug-addiction.html

[9] http://www.dallasaddictionrecoverytherapy.com/bryan-crusius-lpc/; https://www.manta.com/c/mbyx5gz/dapa-psychiatric-programs-llc

[10] http://www.foxla.com/news/suspect-in-el-paso-mass-shooting-believed-to-be-from-north-texas

[11] “The El Paso shooting suspect showed no remorse or regret, police say,” CNN, 6 Aug. 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/05/us/el-paso-suspect-patrick-crusius/index.html

[12] “Texas teen arrested after grandmother thwarts mass shooting plan,” New York Post, 5 Aug. 2019, https://nypost.com/2019/08/05/texas-teen-arrested-after-grandmother-thwarts-mass-shooting-plan/ “One day before gunman killed 22 people in El Paso, Texas mass shooting, Texas officials said a grandmother may have thwarted another possible attack,” MassLive, 5 Aug. 2019, https://www.masslive.com/news/2019/08/one-day-before-gunman-killed-20-people-in-el-paso-texas-mass-shooting-texas-officials-said-a-grandmother-may-have-thwarted-another-possible-attack.html; Name of hospital. https://www.everythinglubbock.com/news/local-news/atf-lubbock-man-threatened-mass-shooting-and-made-false-statement-now-in-custody/

[13] “Texas teen arrested after grandmother thwarts mass shooting plan,” New York Post, 5 Aug. 2019, https://nypost.com/2019/08/05/texas-teen-arrested-after-grandmother-thwarts-mass-shooting-plan/ “One day before gunman killed 22 people in El Paso, Texas mass shooting, Texas officials said a grandmother may have thwarted another possible attack,” MassLive, 5 Aug. 2019, https://www.masslive.com/news/2019/08/one-day-before-gunman-killed-20-people-in-el-paso-texas-mass-shooting-texas-officials-said-a-grandmother-may-have-thwarted-another-possible-attack.html; Name of hospital. https://www.everythinglubbock.com/news/local-news/atf-lubbock-man-threatened-mass-shooting-and-made-false-statement-now-in-custody/

[14] “Lubbock man accused in alleged hotel mass shooting plot faces federal charge,” Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, 2 Aug. 2019, https://www.lubbockonline.com/news/20190802/lubbock-man-accused-in-alleged-hotel-mass-shooting-plot-faces-federal-charge

[xv] “One day before gunman killed 22 people in El Paso, Texas mass shooting, Texas officials said a grandmother may have thwarted another possible attack,” MassLive, 5 Aug. 2019, https://www.masslive.com/news/2019/08/one-day-before-gunman-killed-20-people-in-el-paso-texas-mass-shooting-texas-officials-said-a-grandmother-may-have-thwarted-another-possible-attack.html

[16] “Grandmother thwarted mass shooting at Lubbock hotel; teen charged in federal case,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 4 Aug. 2019, https://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/crime/article233516912.html

[17] https://www.myhighplains.com/news/new-details-on-threat-of-mass-shooting-in-lubbock-pretrial-hearing-set-for-aug-7/

[18] “Lubbock Man Allegedly Plotting Mass Shooting Charged With Making False Statements to Firearms Dealer,” U.S. Department of Justice, Northern District of Texas, 2 Aug. 2019, https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndtx/pr/lubbock-man-allegedly-plotting-mass-shooting-charged-making-false-statements-firearms

[19] https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/08/04/nine-fatally-shot-dayton-including-suspect-day-after-mass-shooting-texas/

[20] “Gunman killed sister, eight others in second deadly U.S. mass shooting in 24 hours,” The Washington Post, 4 Aug. 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/08/04/nine-fatally-shot-dayton-including-suspect-day-after-mass-shooting-texas/

[21] “Dayton shooter appeared to tweet extreme left views and had an abiding interest in violence,” CNN, 6 Aug. 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/05/us/connor-betts-dayton-shooting-profile/index.html

[22] “Ex-girlfriend of Dayton shooter says she saw red flags and a dark side while they dated,” USA Today, 6 Aug. 2019, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/08/06/dayton-shooting-ex-girlfriend-connor-betts-saw-red-flags/1930622001/

[23] “Connor Betts: Dayton gunman in ‘pornogrind’ metal band, had ‘kill list’,” The Enquirer, Cincinatti.com, 4 Aug. 2019, https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2019/08/04/dayton-shooting-what-we-know-gunman/1916121001/

[24] https://www.cchrint.org/florida-school-shooter-timeline/ citing:  https://www.cbsnews.com/news/dayton-shooting-hit-list-rape-list-bellbrook-high-school-classmates-say-ohio-shooter-connor-betts/

[25] “Dayton shooter appeared to tweet extreme left views and had an abiding interest in violence,” CNN, 6 Aug. 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/05/us/connor-betts-dayton-shooting-profile/index.html

[26] https://www.cchrint.org/florida-school-shooter-timeline/, citing https://www.buzzfeed.com/briannasacks/authorities-were-called-to-alleged-florida-school-shooter?utm_term=.oa47mByJm#.psKga1rXa.

[27] https://www.cchrint.org/florida-school-shooter-timeline/  citing: https://www.inquisitr.com/4790263/nra-helped-nikolas-cruz-train-to-use-rifles-by-donating-10000-to-his-school-team/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+google%2FyDYq+%28The+Inquisitr+-+News%29&utm_content=Yahoo+Search+Results.