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 instructed 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 pictures into the goal.

“By no means, form, or type 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 consider that the cartel was behind it,” Dirksen says.

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

“The fundamental guidelines had been if you happen to stayed right here you could not get a firearm,” Dirksen says. “You need to do the proper issues, the medicine, the alcohol, see the physician, get the drugs. He is been making an attempt to do this for some time however the sounds simply do not cease.”

His household did what they might 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 received’t give it again to him,” I stated. [but] They got here right here and by regulation, had 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 might 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 prognosis like his, it simply wasn’t sufficient for him to be articulate sufficient to make rational choices.”

Two weeks earlier than coming into Goal, Dirksen says Jones give up 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 could have this lengthy historical past of this 32-year-old man who has a historical past of schizophrenia and there is not any assist for him, no medical health insurance, nothing you must get remedy for, nobody to drive him to do it or get better, 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 exhibiting 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 regulation enforcement, however even then, how will you purchase a firearm after being hospitalized over and over for being a paranoid schizophrenic?”

American methods 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 via.

“We’re damage as a household by the ache for everybody who was on the goal, we’re damage by the regulation enforcement officer who needed to make that call. We apologize for what occurred. We’re sorry for what occurred and we consider the officer did what he ought to have achieved.” I pray for the affected households. I hope you all perceive that there’s a larger downside, there’s a downside with psychological well being. It isn’t a gun downside, for my part, it is a psychological well being downside. Till we deal with this problem, we’ll proceed to see issues like this occur.”

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