Sunday, June 18, 2006

Movie theater shooter mentally ill?

Today's Baltimore Sun has a follow-up story on last week's movie theater shooting near Baltimore. Mujtaba Rabbani Jabbar, 24, was arrested after fatally shooting 62 year old Paul Schrum in a "bizarre" and "random" act after planning the act "for months".

Jabbar's sister, Gul Jabbar, claims that her brother is mentally ill. According to Gul:
"My brother is a good guy, he hated lying, cheating and hurting anyone," Gul Jabbar, a 20-year-old college student, said in the statement. "He was also mentally ill and our family tried our best to get him the treatment, but he refused." Because doctors said he wasn't a threat to himself or anyone else, the family couldn't force him to get help, she said.

"He just wanted to handle it himself, but he couldn't," his sister said. His illness, which she believes developed in recent years, was never diagnosed.
This all may be true, and I guess we'll just have to wait and see what investigators discover in the coming days and weeks. Some might even argue the fact that it took him months to plan something so simple lends weight to the mental illness defense.

The fact that Jabbar attended Loyola College, a Jesuit school, may indicate a less-than fanatical devotion to Islam if, in fact, he's a practicing Muslim at all. But attendance at a church-affiliated university does not, in and of itself, mean much. Georgetown University for example, another Jesuit school, as well as a host of other schools with church affiliations, admit students of all religious backgrounds.

Time will tell if this was another incidence of one-off jihadism or a simple, tragic case of a young man gone haywire.


Anonymous said...

i believe this is a case of mental illness leading to a tragedy.

Eric said...

Well, it could be argued that fanatical jihadism is itself a mental illness...

But I'll wait for the facts.

Anonymous said...

Concerning the Paul Schrum execution last week, I am horrified that the newspapers are making out this cold blooded killer as someone that we should sympathize, who is "mentally ill". While he may have been depressed, the facts are that he wanted to kill himself, but as a devout Muslim, his religion wouldn't allow it. However, his religion did teach him that it is ok to kill an enemy. So he went to a place where the majority of people there are Jews to pick someone to execute. I’m sure that Mujtaba Rabbani Jabbar believes that when he dies, he will go to heaven. He did not murder Paul because he is “mentally ill”. He murdered Paul because his family never taught him right from wrong and he never learned from his religion that it's wrong to murder innocent people. As a Jew, I was raised to believe that it’s wrong to hate people because of their religion, even after 9/11. Until this point in my life, I’ve never personally been a victim to those people who use Islam as a reason to murder. All I know, is that if weren’t for Mujtaba Rabbani Jabbar’s devout belief in Islam, he would have just shot himself, instead of a good and decent person like Paul Schrum.

friend in NJ said...

If the guy hated cheating so much--like his sister was quoted as saying why did one report say that he (the killer) has a website that sold term papers?
That really is cheating in a big way.
What the hell?
Thank-you for reporting this story.
I am a friend of the family & this is really a horrible thing for one of the most decent American families that I have ever known.