Facts On Recent School Shooters Taking Antidepressants

Prescription for Violence: Is there a Connection Between School Shooters & Psychiatric Drugs?
New Documentary Exposes Rampant Pharmaceutically–Induced School Shootings
22 September 2008

The Kauhajoki Finland school shooting, which left 11 dead and 2 wounded, could be the latest in the chain of psychiatric drug induced school shootings highlighted in a new documentary entitled Psychiatry: Prescription for Violence — created by the mental health watchdog, Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR). With 54 dead and 105 wounded from recent school shooters under the influence of psychiatric drugs documented to cause suicidal behavior, mania, psychosis, hallucinations, hostility and “homicidal ideation,” CCHR is calling on Finland’s law enforcement and press to fully investigate the school shooter’s psychiatric drug history. The group says this is the second major school shooting to happen in Finland in less than a year: last November, Pekka-Eric Auvinen joined the growing list of school shooters under the influence of psychiatric drugs documented by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to cause suicidal behavior and homicidal thoughts. In other instances, the shooter’s medical records were never made public, so their psychiatric drug use remains in question. School shootings committed by individuals under the influence of psychiatric drugs include: 

  • DeKalb, Illinois – February 14, 2008: 27-year-old Steven Kazmierczak shot and killed five people and wounded 16 others before killing himself in a Northern Illinois University auditorium. According to his girlfriend, he had recently been taking Prozac, Xanax and Ambien. Toxicology reports showed that he still had trace amounts of Xanax in his system.
  • Omaha, Nebraska – December 5, 2007: 19-year-old Robert Hawkins killed eight people and wounded five before committing suicide in an Omaha mall. Hawkins’ friend told CNN that the gunman was on antidepressants, and autopsy results confirmed he was under the influence of the “anti-anxiety” drug Valium.
  • Jokela, Finland – November 7, 2007: 18-year-old Finnish gunman Pekka-Eric Auvinen had been taking antidepressants before he killed eight people and wounded a dozen more at Jokela High School in southern Finland, then committed suicide.
  • Cleveland, Ohio – October 10, 2007: 14-year-old Asa Coon stormed through his school with a gun in each hand, shooting and wounding four before taking his own life. court records show Coon had been placed on the antidepressant Trazadone.
  • Blacksburg, Virginia – April 16, 2007: The psychiatric drug history of Seung-Hui Cho in the Virginia Tech Massacre was never made public. Initial reports stated that “depression medication” was found among Cho’s belongings. But neither his toxicology reports, nor his recent medical history were ever released to find out whether Cho had been in withdrawal from psychiatric medication. (33 were killed and 29 injured, but this was not included in the total of dead and wounded cited above.)
  • Red Lake Indian Reservation, Minnesota – March 21, 2005: 16-year-old Native American Jeff Weise, reportedly under the influence of the antidepressant Prozac, went on a shooting rampage at home and at his school, killing nine people and wounding five before committing suicide. 
  • Greenbush, New York – February 2004: 16-year-old Jon Romano strolled into his high school in east Greenbush and opened fire with a shotgun. Special education teacher Michael Bennett was hit in the leg. Romano had been taking “medication for depression.” 
  • El Cajon, California – March 22, 2001: 18-year-old Jason Hoffman was on two antidepressants, Effexor and Celexa, when he opened fire at his California high school wounding five. Hoffman had also undergone an “anger management” program.
  • Williamsport, Pennsylvania – March 7, 2000: 14-year-old Elizabeth Bush was on the antidepressant Prozac when she blasted away at fellow students in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, wounding one.
  • Conyers, Georgia – May 20, 1999: 15-year-old T.J. Solomon was being treated with a mix of antidepressants when he opened fire on and wounded 6 of his classmates.
  • Columbine, Colorado – April 20, 1999: 18-year-old Eric Harris was on the antidepressant Luvox when he and his partner Dylan Klebold killed 12 classmates and a teacher and wounded 23 others before taking their own lives in the bloodiest school massacre in history. The coroner confirmed that the antidepressant was in his system through toxicology reports while Dylan Klebold’s autopsy was never made public. Harris and Klebold underwent “anger management” and “death education” classes.
  • Notus, Idaho – April 16, 1999: 15-year-old Shawn Cooper fired two shotgun rounds in his school narrowly missing students; he was taking a mix of antidepressants.
  • Springfield, Oregon – May 21, 1998: 15-year-old Kip Kinkel murdered his own parents and then proceeded to school where he opened fire on students in the cafeteria, killing two and wounding 22. Kinkel had been on Prozac. Kinkel also underwent “anger management” classes.

This message is a public service announcement provided by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights International. For more information, contact CCHR at 800-869-2247 or email humanrights@cchr.org

13 thoughts on “Facts On Recent School Shooters Taking Antidepressants

  1. This is a very well-written and informative discussion on the issue of medication-induced violence. Those interested in this area will be interested in attending the Conference on Medication-Induced Violence, at the above weblink, October 9, 2009 in Chicago.

  2. I am 16 years old and was taking the antidepressant Celexa for a year in 2009, and while taking it, i had to fight like hell not to bring a gun to school. this is no joke. it made me want to kill myself and other people. I stopped taking it about November and immediately felt better afterwards. Antidepressants NEED to stop being prescribed.

  3. After having seen and read many items relating to the recent Conn. school shootings, I see a lapse in context, in which the makers of violent video games have not been mentioned, also we have Hollywood to look at, and let us not forget MSM, for their role in capitlizing on a very tragic event. Seems to me that a child by the age of 10, has witnessed every consevable way to kill another human, that the imagination can conger, thanks to Hollywood. Now we couple that with the hands on training that todays violent video games have made possible. So we take all the above an throw in some mind an mood altering drugs and presto, we have yet another horrific incident. Isnt it time to call a spade a spade? Gun control is NOT the answer, however I must say that with gun ownership comes RESPONSIBLITY, the same more or less as owning a automobile, think of the numbers killed every day by auto’s, and no talk of banning them. Gun violence in schools has actually gone down since 1992, while violence in general has gone up in schools! Why?, because of all the violent video games, Hollywood films, and MSM’s actions to draw viewers. Let us not let this very tragic incident deprive us of our rites to bear arms. A unarmed Nation is a vulnerable nation, just look at Germany in the late 30’s. My Son was born the afternoon that 2 people an man an his wife took the Cokeville Wyoming school hostage, yes there were firearms involved, but the injuries were related to the gasoline bombs that these two used. I have no memory of banning gasoline, being mentioned. The only two deaths were a murder suicide, the two whom fabricated the plot. The main focus is RESPONSIBILITY, not only in gun ownership, but also in what our children are subjected too, and are allowed to play with.

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