Santa Monica shootings: Were gun control laws powerless to stop suspect? (+video)(Read article summary)
John Zawahri, the alleged attacker in the Santa Monica shootings, had a semiautomatic rifle, more than 1,000 bullets, and a history of mental troubles, law enforcement sources say.
Details about John Zawahri, the body-armor clad man who Santa Monica police say killed four people in a shooting spree Friday, are scant. But so far, early reports agree that those who knew Mr. Zawahri believed he was a troubled young man.
Mr. Zawahri had been hospitalized for treatment several years ago after allegedly talking about harming someone, a law enforcement source told CNN on Saturday. The source said Zawahri suffered mental-health issues.
A close friend of the family, who worked with Zawahri's mother, said "John had a fascination with guns. We were all worried about it," according to a Los Angeles Times report.
And one neighbor of Zawahri and his mother, who lived together, told the Times that the mother is "a lovely woman. Petite, sweet, quiet, brunette, and classy – with a crazy kid."
The accounts offer an echo of Newtown, Conn., where a single mother apparently struggled to keep a "crazy kid" in line. There, the mother was the first victim, killed before Adam Lanza went on a his shooting spree, killing 20 first-graders and six staff at Sandy Hook Elementary.