CHATTANOOGA (MEDIA GENERAL) – According to an ABC News report, the FBI has not found any connection to overseas terrorist groups, and any likely motive for Mohammod Abdulazeez’s shooting rampage last week that killed five military personnel likely is related to mental and drug issues.
ABC News reported federal authorities have conducted several interviews with Abdulazeez’s family and friends and have poured over the 24-year-old’s journal, in which he details suicidal thoughts and issues with drugs.
According to a family representative, through different periods of his life Abdulazeez had struggled with opiods, painkillers, marijuana and alcohol. He also was thousands of dollars in debt and had considered filing for bankruptcy. Family also noted Abdulazeez recently had struggles with sleeping pills after having trouble adjusting to a new job where he worked a 12-hour overnight shift.
Authorities hope the journal gives them clues as to why Abdulazeez targeted Chattanooga military facilities. A family representative told ABC News Abdulazeez rented a silver Ford Mustang on Tuesday and went to a local mosque to show off the car to some friends. Few details are publicly known of his whereabouts between Tuesday and the shootings Thursday morning.
FBI agents confirmed Abdulazeez bought ammunition July 11 at a local Wal-Mart. He was shown on surveillance video with two other men, who are being sought for questioning. They are not believed to be accomplices.
Abdulazeez’s family reportedly had tried to seek treatment for his mental illness and to keep him away from a group of friends they considered a bad influence, but with little success. Abdulazeez lived in Jordan for seven months in 2014, initially sparking reports he may have been radicalized by a terrorist organization. Authorities have not confirmed any reports of ties to any extremist organization or expressions.
Four Marines and one Sailor died in the shooting. One local police officer also was injured during the shootout. Abdulazeez’s family released a statement condemning the attack and conveying their emotions.
“The person who committed this horrible crime was not the son we knew and loved,” the family said. “For many years, our son suffered from depression. It grieves us beyond belief to know that his pain found its expression in this heinous act of violence.”