Many question if Navy Yard shooter suffered from PTSD - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Many question if Navy Yard shooter suffered from PTSD


ALBANY, N.Y. -- As information about Aaron Alexis, accused in a shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard, is released to the public, some are questioning if his reported fits of anger may be the result of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Veterans like Mike Pascal have seen firsthand the effects of war and knows how hard it is to jump back into normal life after such a shock.  

"Pretty difficult, I think that right now with the rotation system with young people going off to Afghanistan, going away and coming back and then going back," he said.

Pascal is the State Commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars for the state and a former Vietnam veteran who works daily with war veterans. He says he has seen his share of people who suffer from PTSD. 

"I see PTSD as something that would instill fear in someone, them reliving a nightmare that took place in their life."

VA Chief of Psychology Annette Payne agrees saying PTSD symptoms are typical depression, anxiety, trouble sleeping and hopelessness. She says it doesn't often cause fits of anger, however, in some cases it may develop into that. 

"Lots of things can contribute to anger; PTSD might be one, even things like depression and anxiety. I wouldn't say PTSD has a piece to that problem but it may be part of it," she said.

The shooting was the deadliest on a military installation in the U.S. since the tragedy at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009.

Law enforcement officials say gunman Aaron Alexis carried two weapons at the Navy Yard: a shotgun and a handgun he took from an officer at the scene.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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