Chattanooga shooting: Gunman battled depression, drug and alcohol abuse

New details emerge on Chattanooga shooter who fatally shot five US service members

Justin Carissimo
Monday 20 July 2015 20:52
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The 24-year-old man who is accused of killing five US service members in Chattanooga, Tennessee allegedly suffered from depression and drug abuse.

The 24-year-old man who is accused of killing five US service members in Chattanooga, Tennessee allegedly suffered from depression and drug abuse.

"He was medicated like many children are. Through high school and college he did a better job sometimes than others staying with it," a family representative told the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity. He reportedly abused sleeping pills, opioids, painkillers, marijuana and alcohol.

Abdulazeez held both US and Jordanian citizenship. He and his parents made a mutual agreement to send the 24-year-old to Jordan where he would attempt to sober up and disconnect with his toxic friends in the states. Abdulazeez was first treated by a psychiatrist at 13-years-old.

The young engineer lost his job at a nuclear power plant in Ohio after failing a drug test in March 2013. He began taking sleeping pills and taking muscle relaxers for back pain to work a new overnight shift. In April 2015, was then arrested for driving under the influence charge.

The family released a statement offering their prayers for the victims and their loved ones.

"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 in Chattanooga, Tennessee — our community, and one we have loved for over twenty-five years — The person who committed this horrible crime was not the son we knew and loved."

The Department of Justice has been investigating possible ties between the young man and terrorist groups. A source close to the investigation told Reuters that officials had not found any links between Abdulazeez and the Islamic State. However, general jihadist propaganda may have inspired the attacks.

On Monday, James Petty, a friend of Abdulazeez told CNN that the his former friend considered ISIS a “stupid group” that was “doing wrong.”

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