February 15, 2008
As suspected, the Illinois campus shooter, identified as Stephen Kazmierczak, was on medication, although ABC News reports at this time it is unknown what sort of medication.
In the last few weeks, Kazmierczak’s
behavior had become erratic, according to [NIU campus Police Chief Donald Grady], and it is believed the Kazmierczak had stopped taking his medication. The chief declined to specify the type of medication the gunman was on.
As was revealed soon after the shootings at Virginia Tech, Cho Seung-Hui was taking the anti-depressant Paroxetine, which he took from June 1999 to July 2000. Seung-Hui’s “doctor stopped the medication because Mr. Cho had improved,” the New Yorks Times reported on August 30, 2007.
“Recent regulatory warnings about adverse behavioral effects of antidepressants in susceptible individuals have raised the profile of these issues with clinicians, patients, and the public. We review available clinical trial data on paroxetine and sertraline and pharmacovigilance studies of paroxetine and fluoxetine, and outline a series of medico-legal cases involving antidepressants and violence,” notes PLoS Medicine, a peer-reviewed medical publication. “Both clinical trial and pharmacovigilance data point to possible links between these drugs and violent behaviors.”
Bob Unruh, writing for WorldNetDaily, cites Dr. Peter Breggin, a prominent critic of psychiatric drugs and founder of the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology, who states that even if Cho wasn’t taking psychiatric drugs the day of the shooting, “he might have been tipped over into violent madness weeks or months earlier by a drug like Prozac, Paxil, or Zoloft.” In his book, The Antidepressant Fact Book, Breggin “warned that stopping antidepressants can be as dangerous as starting them, since they can cause very disturbing and painful withdrawal reactions.”
ABC reports that “Kazmierczak’s interests are listed as corrections, political violence, and peace and social justice, according to [an] essay, and he had plans to co-author a manuscript on the role of religion in the formation of early prisons.” In 2006 Kazmierczak co-authored the essay entitled “Self-Injury in Correctional Settings: ‘Pathology’ of Prisons or of Prisoners,” in which an attached biography describes him as having just begun his graduate work at NIU.
According to Kazmierczak’s coworkers at the Pirates Cove Childrens Theme Park, he had a penchant for violence. “I remember Steve Kazmierczak,” an anonymous coworker wrote on a music site message board in 2006, “the kind of person who injured kids on the train ride cuz he was mental and he shouldn’t be given domain over kids on little faux-traincars with an aluminum baseball bat…”
In short, Kazmierczak appears to be a prime candidate for violent behavior, especially now that authorities in Illinois are revealing that he was on medication, although as of yet unspecified.
Is it simply a coincidence that Mr. Kazmierczak decided to launch his murderous campaign at precisely the time the Supremes are taking up critical issues related to the Second Amendment?
From ABC News:
Kevin Sundstrom said, “He had [a] blank stare on his face, not a frown, not a grin, like there was nobody there. I went back to find Paul. He was reloading his gun, like he’s in the backyard, methodically going about it.”
In other words, to witnesses, Kazmierczak appeared to be a zombie. How is it possible a person, who in 2006 he received a Dean’s Award from the sociology department and was reportedly well regarded by his teachers, engage in mass murder without any emotion? Is it possible he was in fact on “medication,” but not the sort prescribed by a doctor?