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Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:20 AM

Student charged in college shooting attacked cabby

Source: Associated Press

Student charged in college shooting attacked cabby
By JIM SALTER, Associated Press | January 16, 2013 | Updated: January 17, 2013 12:10am

ST. LOUIS (AP) A St. Louis college student who was charged Wednesday with shooting an administrator in a dispute over financial aid has a history of mental illness and at least one earlier violent crime.

Prosecutors charged 34-year-old Sean Johnson with first-degree assault, armed criminal action and two firearms violations in Tuesday's attack at the Stevens Institute of Business & Art. He doesn't have an attorney yet and a woman who answered the phone at his home declined an interview request.

Investigators say Johnson, a part-time student, shot the school's financial aid director, Greg Elsenrath, once in the chest during a meeting in Elsenreth's fourth-floor office, then shot himself in the torso. The school said the two had a heated exchange Monday during a meeting about Johnson's financial aid.

~snip~
Until last spring, Johnson was serving five years' probation for trying to slash a cab driver with a box cutter in 2009 while they were driving on Interstate 70 in St. Louis County. The cab crashed into the median, and Johnson and the driver engaged in a struggle until police arrived, according to court records.





Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/crime/article/Student-charged-in-college-shooting-attacked-cabby-4197540.php

9 replies, 1540 views

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Reply Student charged in college shooting attacked cabby (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jan 2013 OP
marions ghost Jan 2013 #1
underpants Jan 2013 #4
marions ghost Jan 2013 #7
skamaria Jan 2013 #9
ReRe Jan 2013 #2
Moosepoop Jan 2013 #6
valerief Jan 2013 #8
marshall Jan 2013 #3
Moosepoop Jan 2013 #5

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:25 AM

1. So where did he get the gun?

"As a convicted felon, Johnson is prohibited from owning or handling a gun, which accounts for one of the new firearms charges. The other stems from the scratched-out serial number on the weapon, according to prosecutors."

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 07:54 AM

4. If we had a national tracking database we could follow the steps

Oh HEY we have a national database being proposed right now!!!

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Response to underpants (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:19 AM

7. Yes at least we could follow where the guns are

and how they're being distributed.

WHO originally bought this gun? We need to know something about that "irresponsible" gun owner.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 03:47 PM

9. Even scratched out serial numbers can be recovered. n/t

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 07:13 AM

2. He sounds schizo...

I've never heard of a student attacking a financial aid officer before. Glad the financial aid officer is going to make it. But the gunman belongs in a mental institution forever more. No?

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Response to ReRe (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 09:58 AM

6. He may indeed be schizophrenic.

He has a mental illness for which he was ordered to be on medication, and which he seemed to do well with when on the medication. Whether that illness is schizophrenia or something else has not been disclosed.

For some reason, he apparently went off his medication, which resulted in violent behavior. I, too, am very glad that the victim is expected to make a complete recovery. It could have been a fatal injury, as could have the attack on the cabby prior. Obviously, this guy has a mental illness that makes him violent and very dangerous when not treated with medication.

But I am not ready at this point to definitively say that he should be locked up for life. The question for me is why he went off the medication in the first place. If it was because he chose to, perhaps because once he felt better he didn't think he needed to remain on it, then he is responsible for that decision, his actions that stemmed from that decision, and the criminal consequences that he faces now.

But not knowing what the medication was, how much it costs, and whether he had any means to acquire that necessary medication leaves me not sure whether the fault is with him or with our health care system. Mental health needs are often left unaddressed even more so than other health needs. People die for lack of access to necessary prescription medications every day. In cases where low or no income patients need prescription medications for serious mental conditions, if they are unable to acquire them the death that results may be someone else's rather than their own.

I do not know the circumstances of this particular case enough to form an opinion yet as to whether this man deserves to be locked up for life, whether society needs to be protected from him by locking him up for life, or whether he simply needed and needs to have access to the medications that he obviously needs.



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Response to ReRe (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 02:00 PM

8. Guns need to be restricted severely in this country. nt

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 07:46 AM

3. He was a walking time bomb

His five year probation for assaulting the cabbie was dropped after only ten months, in spite of a felony assault during that ten month period. WTF? Sounds like we need to look at the judicial system.

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Response to marshall (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 09:26 AM

5. His probation wasn't dropped -- it was revoked.

And a warrant for his arrest was issued three days later. The question is whether he was ever arrested at that point or any time after, and if so, what happened from there? Agreed, the judicial system needs to be looked at.

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