Following reports that the killer of Jo Cox had been mentally ill, it has now emerged that last week's other notable shooter, Omar Mateen is now also being presented as mentally troubled, after he allegedly talked about staying up all night to do online research into anti-psychosis medication, an acquaintance said in a interview with Reuters.
Whether this reported is meant to deflect public attention from his being "rationally" influenced by Islamist elements is unclear. "It looks increasingly like this may have been the act of a seriously troubled individual whose personal problems dwarfed any last-minute inspiration from radical groups," said a senior U.S. official familiar with the investigation, speaking on condition of anonymity. Authorities - in keeping up with the Administration's narrative - believe Mateen, a U.S. citizen of Afghan descent, was self-radicalized and acted alone in the rampage, contrary to a push by Donald Trump to frame Mateen as one who was radicalized by Islamist elements.
The acquaintance, a resident at the PGA Village in Port St. Lucie, Florida, where Mateen worked as a gate security guard, said he noticed signs of deteriorating behavior a few weeks before the massacre. He had passed the gate for three years, meeting Mateen several times a week and exchanging friendly small talk. About three weeks before the attack, he noticed Mateen seemed agitated and asked him if he was all right.
Mateen said he was worn out from staying up all night to research psychiatric medication, although he did not say he was taking specific drugs. “He’d been real worried about whether or not he’d slipped into psychosis," the acquaintance said. “He wasn’t as friendly. He was obsessed with researching medication online.”
The acquaintance said he thought it was strange that Mateen would confide to him his concerns about his mental health, because they were not very close and he did not know anything about Mateen's personal life, including whether he was married or had children.
"The last month, he looked worried, he looked upset, he looked confused," the acquaintance said. "He didn’t seem himself." In the early morning, about 18 hours before the June 12 attack, the acquaintance said he drove up to the gate but Mateen was not there to open it as usual. In a couple of minutes, he appeared, silent and with a completely transformed look - a shaved head and face, without his usual short whiskers and glasses.
When asked if he was OK, the usually polite Mateen responded: “What’s it to you, anyway?"
These claims are not the first to paint a picture of Mateen as a mentally unstable individual. His school records showed a history of being disciplined and his attempt to become a police officer ended when he was expelled from the police academy.
It will be interesting if the narrative of Mateetn as being insane picks up, even as the comparable surrounding Cox's killer is largely ignored and her killing is blamed on a pro-Brexit ideologue.