A man who shot and killed five service members in Tennessee suffered from depression since his early teen years and battled drug and alcohol abuse, spending time in Jordan last year to help clean himself up, a family spokesman said Sunday.
The representative, who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid unwanted publicity, said relatives of 24-year-old Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez believed those personal struggles were at the heart of last week’s attack on a pair of military sites in Chattanooga.
“They do not know of anything else to explain it,” said the spokesman, who has been involved with the family since the shootings.
Abdulazeez spent several months in Jordan last year under a mutual agreement with his parents to help him get away from drugs, alcohol and a group of friends whom relatives considered a bad influence, the spokesman said.
Counter-terrorism investigators continue to interview Abdulazeez’s acquaintances and delve into his visit to Jordan, looking for clues to whom or what might have influenced him and set off the bloodshed.
FBI spokesman Jason Pack declined to comment on whether investigators were pursuing Abdulazeez’s mental health records.
In a statement issued Saturday, Abdulazeez’s family said he had suffered from depression and “was not the son we knew and loved.”
“It grieves us beyond belief to know that his pain found its expression in this heinous act of violence,” the family statement said.
Family members said they were cooperating with the investigation.