Experts who study Post Truamatic Stress Disorder say the murder of three counselors by a veteran with PTSD in northern California on Friday should not lead to a 'stigma' about 'violent' veterans, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The suspect who allegedly wanted 'revenge' for being kicked out of the PTSD program shot and killed three medical workers before taking his own life.
Dr. Harry Croft, a local psychiatrist who is considered an expert in PTSD and has published much research on the topic, says this is not common for PTSD sufferers.
"They are generally not violent towards people they don't know, and they generally do not commit murder," Croft said.
There was a case in San Antonio of a recently discharged veteran shot and killed his recetly estranged wife.
He said PTSD sufferers may by more violent toward domestic partners and are clearly known to be at a far greater risk for suicide, but not for the sort of street violence that was seen at the California facility on Friday
."One possibility was, that he might have been using drugs or alcohol, and that is more common among people who are violent," Croft said.
Ever since returning Vietnam War veterans were stigmatized as a group as 'ticking time bombs' and 'baby killers,' groups who work with veterans have been working hard to make sure the same false narrative doesn't stick to post 9-11 combat veterans.
Croft says people need to realize just how out of the ordinary random violence committed by veterans with PTSD is, and he is concerned that, just with Vietnam Vets, if the idea gets out that the opposite is true, that will be very damaging to people who have already sacrificed much for their country.