Despite the lack of publicly available evidence indicating alleged Highland Park, Illinois mass shooter Robert Crimo III to be a drug user of any sort, Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene is claiming the rooftop shooting rampage in which he is a person of interest could be blamed on illicit drug abuse or the side effects of commonly-used antidepressants.
Ms Greene, a first-term congresswoman who is known for promoting outlandish conspiracy theories, took to Twitter late on Monday to suggest anyone not buying into her claims was part of a coverup on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry.
“When are we going to have an honest conversation about drug abuse, mental illness, and SSRI’s … and deadly side effects. Are we really going to keep pretending? Or covering for Big Pharma? Because I’m absolutely done with the political plays on this [bulls***],” she wrote. SSRIs – selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors – are drugs often used as antidepressants.
Her Republican colleague, Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, weighed in shortly after Ms Greene’s tweet, calling It “heartless”.
“Instead of having an ounce of compassion, it’s cold hearted insanity,” he wrote. “I’m so utterly done with this evil movement”.
Police arrested Mr Crimo on Monday evening following a brief car chase after he was linked to the shooting, which claimed the lives of six and left another 38 injured, by a DNA sample found on the high-powered rifle discovered at the scene of the shooting.
He was not immediately named as a suspect in the massacre, but as a person of interest, on account of the DNA link, and after Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents used firearms sales records to trace the origin of the weapon found at the scene.
According to NBC News, Mr Crimo’s internet presence indicated a longtime interest in internet subcultures that are fascinated with mass shootings and death. There is no evidence that he has been a habitual user of illicit drugs, nor that he has been treated with antidepressants.
Nancy Rotering, the mayor of Highland Park, told NBC’s Today she knew the alleged killer when he was a child as part of a Cub Scouts group she once led.
“I know him as somebody who was a Cub Scout when I was the Cub Scout leader,” Ms Rotering said. “And it’s one of those things where you step back and you say, ‘What happened?’ How did somebody become this angry, this hateful to then take it out on innocent people who, literally, were just having a family day out?”