Family says the Omaha Target shooting suspect has struggled with mental health issues for years

Omaha, Neb. (WOWT) — The uncle of the 32-year-old man who introduced a loaded AR-15 to a West Omaha Goal retailer Tuesday informed 6 Information that the person has struggled with psychological well being for years, and his household has tried to assist him.

“He was an excellent child, and he was an excellent child,” Larry Dirksen Jr. stated in an interview with 6 Information on the home the place he lived along with his nephew, Joseph Pleasure Jones.

Jones was killed on Tuesday after firing a number of photographs into the goal.

“Under no circumstances, form, or kind do I feel he ever had any intention of going into that retailer and hurting anybody.”

The neighborhood is aware of about Jones’ actions, however what they do not know is his lengthy historical past of psychological well being issues.

Dirksen says Jones was a paranoid schizophrenic.

“It began about 3 years in the past. “He got here to imagine that the cartel was behind it,” Dirksen says.

On and off, Jones would pack up and drive to different states, finally returning when he ran out of cash. Dirksen says he had frequent episodes, and acquired weapons or got here dwelling a number of instances.

“The essential guidelines have been in case you stayed right here you could not get a firearm,” Dirksen says. “It’s important to do the best issues, the medication, the alcohol, see the physician, get the medication. He is been making an attempt to do this for some time however the sounds simply do not cease.”

His household did what they may to assist. In a single incident, Dirksen says Jones requested for his gun again, and Dirksen known as the police.

“Hello, my nephew has schizophrenia, and he’s asking for his firearm. I gained’t give it again to him,” I stated. [but] They got here right here and by legislation, have been really required to return him to his firearm.”

After that, Jones left and was out and in of hospitals and services.

A number of months in the past, he drove to Kansas the place he was arrested after mendacity on the freeway. Dirksen says Jones thought the gang would kill his household if he did not commit suicide. He was then positioned in one other psychological well being facility.

“Time and again, you realize me and him would attempt to plead with them, ‘Hey, he wants some assist,’ and all they may actually do was put him within the hospital for 3 days, maintain him for 3 days, give him drugs,” he says. “However if you’re in extreme psychological well being misery and have a analysis like his, it simply wasn’t sufficient for him to be articulate sufficient to make rational selections.”

Two weeks earlier than getting into Goal, Dirksen says Jones stop his job — which he liked — and reported to the FBI that he was dealing with some kind of harassment.

Final week, the FBI confirmed up at their double desk to talk with Jones.

“Right here you may have this lengthy historical past of this 32-year-old man who has a historical past of schizophrenia and there isn’t any assist for him, no medical health insurance, nothing you might want to get treatment for, nobody to pressure him to do it or get well, after which we get to what occurred.” On that day, which is to be anticipated.”

Dirksen says he was out of city when he purchased a Jones AR-15 4 days earlier than displaying up at Goal.

“We weren’t conscious he was carrying a firearm, if we had we’d have tried to take it from him or name legislation enforcement, however even then, how will you purchase a firearm after being hospitalized again and again for being a paranoid schizophrenic?”

American programs are damaged, Dirksen says, however additionally they do not excuse Jones’ habits.

In a message to the neighborhood, Dirksen hopes individuals will perceive what Jones and their households have been by way of.

“We’re harm as a household by the ache for everybody who was on the goal, we’re harm by the legislation enforcement officer who needed to make that call. We apologize for what occurred. We’re sorry for what occurred and we imagine the officer did what he ought to have executed.” I pray for the affected households. I hope you all perceive that there’s a greater downside, there’s a downside with psychological well being. It is not a gun downside, in my view, it is a psychological well being downside. Till we tackle this problem, we’ll proceed to see issues like this occur.”

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