Dayton shooter's ex-girlfriends: He had hallucinations and watched videos of mass shootings

“Red flags galore,” said Ed in his post this morning. But as more acquaintances of this cretin have come forward to share stories with the media, it’d be more accurate to say, “More red flags than China.”

How many of those red flags were shared with cops and mental-health professionals before he went off, I wonder?

One of the interesting implications of the “red-flag law” being proposed by Trump and Lindsey Graham is how it might inculcate an ethic in the population to be more proactive about reporting troubling behavior to authorities. That’s not all upside: Some perfectly harmless weirdos are destined to be harassed by cops if the public ends up being mass-deputized and encouraged by Congress to report on the dark eccentrics in their midst.

But this degenerate might have lost his gun rights under that regime. So might the one who shot up Stoneman Douglas High. That’s the trade-off for Congress and the courts.

As I say, more red flags than China:

During his senior year of high school, [the shooter] seemed to always have caffeine pills in one hand and an energy drink in another. He was unable to sleep, he told his then-girlfriend Lyndsi Doll, because of dark, animal-like shadows that tormented him at night.

Seven years after they dated, Doll recalls [the shooter] as a serious and reserved kid who wrestled with hallucinations and menacing voices in his head.

While they were in high school, [the shooter] told Doll that he had suffered from psychosis since he was young and feared developing schizophrenia…

[A]s their relationship progressed, Doll became increasingly concerned that [the shooter] was far from normal and desperately in need of professional help. He talked a lot about the “dark, evil things” he heard in his head. He would sometimes check out midway through the conservation, when it seemed like his mind would drift elsewhere.

Allegedly he told friends that he heard disembodied voices, and Doll’s friends told her that he had once pushed an ex-girlfriend into a “roaring river.” “He would cry to me sometimes,” Doll told WaPo, “saying how he’s afraid of himself and afraid he was going to hurt someone one day.” A different woman whom he dated earlier this year says he told her he had bipolar disorder and showed her a video of the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre — on their first date. “People go every day being perfectly fine with having a mental illness, me included, and he just got the short end of the stick,” she said in an interview with NBC. “No support system.”

It’s true that most people with mental illnesses, even severe ones, aren’t dangerous. But how about people with severe mental illness who are known to keep hit lists of people they want to rape or kill? Ed noted that conspicuous red flag in his post earlier but this Daily Beast piece fleshes it out a bit via an interview with a friend of the shooter’s from high school. By no means was the hit list an excessive but seemingly harmless expression of teenaged angst or a surprising aberration from how this person normally behaved. The takeaway from the interview was that classmates expected the shooter would hurt people someday:

“I was not surprised at all when I heard his name on the news yesterday,” [Jessica Masseth] said. “We predicted he would do this 10 years ago.”

“In the texts, and on the lists, he talked about destruction and dismemberment. I mean how did the police not know he was going to do something like what he did this weekend?” she said. “Everyone knew he was not right.”

“Everyone in high school knew what he was capable of, but there was a gap in getting [him] help because people just decided they didn’t care,” she said. “If people just cared a little more, none of this would have happened.”

Local cops did take the hit list seriously and reportedly pulled him off the school bus in 2010 to question him about it. He was suspended but returned to school, although he was still “not right” when he graduated in 2012, Masseth says. Under a red-flag law, would a high-school hit list suffice to deprive someone of their right to buy a gun as an adult? Should it? For how long?

One more red flag, again from NBC:

A 24-year-old woman told NBC News she was friends with [the shooter] in middle school until he made a violent, sexual threat against her.

The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, claimed that he spoke of his desire to harm girls and said he was afraid of his own thoughts. She added that he showed her poems he had written about killing people and that she urged him to get counseling.

“He had really dark fantasies, a lot of them mixed death with sex,” she said…

“When I heard he was the shooter, I wasn’t surprised at all,” she said. “These are all the things that everyone tried to warn the police and the school about 10 years ago. Everyone knew who he was.”

The FBI said today at a press conference that they still don’t have a motive — but they do have evidence that he was “exploring violent ideologies.” What that means is unclear but it’s well-known by now that he was a leftist. Did he kill due to some left-wing political grievance or did he kill due to a personal grievance unrelated to politics? (His sister was one of his victims, do note.) In a way it’s strange that we’re treating his motive as a matter of great suspense, as if there were any doubt that hard-leftists can be as lethal as the white nationalist who shot up the Walmart in El Paso and we need this incident to resolve the question one way or the other. We’re just two years removed from a progressive’s attempt to mass-murder Republican congressmen on a baseball field and weeks removed from Antifa sending a journalist to the hospital with brain trauma for covering them skeptically. Of course he might have killed for ideological reasons. And even if he didn’t, of course our fair and balanced media would see fit to mention his politics if he happened to be a hardcore Trump fan who shot up a business over a grudge unrelated to politics.

But did the Dayton shooter actually kill because of politics? Still waiting on that.

Exit question: Was there a connection between the El Paso massacre and the massacre in Dayton? Not a direct connection, I mean, but maybe an indirect one? I’ll leave you with this.