Today in St. Louis, Missouri a financial aid director was shot at the Stevens Institute of Business & Arts by an on-again-off-again student. Police say that 34-year-old Sean Johnson shot Greg Elsenrath in the chest before fleeing into a stairwell and shooting himself in the chest. Both men are expected to survive their wounds. The motive was said to be a dispute over financial aid.
Johnson is said to have a history of mental illness. In 2009 Johnson cut the neck of a cab driver with a box cutter. Johnson also cut himself across the chest with the box cutter in the incident. Johnson’s own attorney says that Johnson is the nicest guy when he’s on his medication.
Therein lies the problem. If the reports are to be believed Johnson is a danger to not only himself but to others as well. Even with that Johnson can’t be forced to take his medication even if it means a potential loss of life. Again I have to ask when to the rights of a known dangerous individual outweigh the rights of the potential victims around him? To me, that is the true mental health issue in this country.
UPDATE 1/25/2013: The gun that Johnson allegedly used was stolen from a legal gun owner. Take that for what it’s worth.
UPDATE 4/10/2014: Johnson has been convicted of first-degree assault which according to Missouri law includes attempted murder. His sentencing is scheduled for May 23rd.
UPDATE 5/27/2014: Johnson was sentenced to 60 years behind bars.