Asa Coon May Be Another Teen Under
the Influence of Psychiatric Drugs Resulting
in 29 Dead and 68 Wounded.
Cleveland juvenile court records obtained by the psychiatric watchdog group Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) show that Asa Coon, the 14-year-old Ohio school shooter who wounded four before taking his own life on Wednesday, had been prescribed psychiatric drugs including Trazodone, an antidepressant, and Clonidine, prescribed for “ADHD.” Although The New York Times reported that Coon had refused to take his “medication,” it failed to mention that the court records also state that the “Child shall be evaluated by a psychiatrist to review his medication and he shall follow all recommendations, including taking medications as prescribed.” This was in June 2006, and by November, the court determined that these conditions were met and the boy’s probation was consequently terminated.
CCHR’s long-standing investigation into the correlation between suicidal and homicidal effects of antidepressant drugs, predating the FDA's black box suicide warnings by more than 15 years, maintains that the drugs are often linked to acts of senseless violence yet this fact is often swept under the rug. Recent school shootings by teens under the influence of psychiatric drugs, documented by the FDA to cause suicidal behavior, mania, psychosis, hallucinations, hostility and “homicidal ideation,” have resulted in 29 dead and 68 wounded. With many other school shooters, their psychiatric drug use has never received the investigation merited by the violence-inducing effects of the drugs. Frequently, toxicology reports or medical records are never disclosed, or in the case of Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech shooter, toxicology tests were only done on blood and not tissue, which would reveal if the shooter was experiencing violent withdrawal symptoms. A thorough toxicology report was merited by Cho’s former roommate’s observation of the shooter taking “prescription medication” as part of his daily routine, along with the fact that Cho’s records reveal he was prescribed psychiatric drugs in high school.
School shootings committed by individuals under the influence of psychiatric drugs include:
March 21, 2005: Red Lake Indian Reservation, Minnesota: 16-year-old Jeff Weise, reportedly under the influence of the antidepressant Prozac, went on a shooting rampage at home and at his school, killing nine people and wounding seven before committing suicide.
April 10, 2001: Wahluke, Washington: 16-year-old Cory Baadsgaard took a rifle to his high school, and held 23 classmates and a teacher hostage while on a high dose of the antidepressant Effexor.
March 22, 2001: El Cajon, California: 18-year-old Jason Hoffman was on two antidepressants, Effexor and Celexa, when he opened fire at his California high school wounding five.
May 20, 1999: Conyers, Georgia: 15-year-old T.J. Solomon was being treated with a mix of antidepressants when he opened fire on and wounded 6 of his classmates.
April 20, 1999: Columbine, Colorado: 18-year-old Eric Harris was on the antidepressant Luvox when he and his partner Dylan Klebold killed 12 classmates and a teacher and wounded 26 others before taking their own lives. The coroner confirmed that the antidepressant was in his system through toxicology reports while Dylan Klebold’s autopsy was never made public.
May 21, 1998: Springfield, Oregon: 15-year-old Kip Kinkel murdered his own parents and then proceeded to school where he opened fire on students in the cafeteria, killing two and wounding 22. Kinkel had been on Prozac.
Following the Red Lake Indian Reservation shooting in September 2005, the National Foundation of Women Legislators, together with American Indian tribal leaders, called for a Congressional investigation into the correlation between psychiatric drug use and school massacres. However, Congress has yet to investigate the psychiatric drug link to these senseless acts of violence. According to CCHR, an immediate Congressional investigation into this link is necessary to help prevent further tragedies in our nation’s schools.
For more information, read CCHR’s publication, Psychiatric Drugs and Anger Management Curricula—A Perspective on School Violence.