Nevada lawmaker wants study of medications prescribed to mass shooters

LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) -- As the nation learns more about the mass-casualty shooter at a rural Oregon community college, a state lawmaker would like to learn more about drugs used to treat mental illness while one of Nevada's federal lawmakers says it is time for lawmakers to act to try to end mass shootings.

Armed with more than a dozen firearms, extra ammunition and body armor, Chris Harper-Mercer left behind a document which investigators say detailed his poor state of mind. He killed nine people Thursday morning at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., and wounded several more before killing himself.

It has been disclosed that Harper-Mercer graduated from a school for children with learning and emotional challenges. Oregon law enforcement officials say he was struggling with mental health issues.

Local Republican Assemblywoman Michele Fiore says that while a lot of people want to blame guns for mass shootings, she believes we need to take a look at psychiatric drug treatments prescribed to those struggling with mental illness.

Journalists have learned that the shooter's screen name on social media was "lithium love." Lithium is used as a psychiatric medication.

While there is no confirmation of medications that Harper-Mercer was prescribed, Fiore says with some drugs known to cause violence, suicidal and homicidal actions, we need more scientific proof that they work.

"We have to look into what is being prescribed and what is in these meds just like clinical studies," Fiore told News 3 this weekend. "Why don't we do studies on the medication all of these shooters were taking and take that medication off the market?

"Obvioulsy, medications can alter your mind just as alcohol can alter the mind," she said.

In reaction to the shooting, nearly the 1,000th mass shooting in the country since the Sandy Hook School shootings, Nevada's longest-serving U.S. lawmaker says it is time for action.

"It's unacceptable that yet another community in our nation is mourning because of a senseless act of gun violence," Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said in an email. "Yet again, families have been torn apart. Yet again, a school has been shattered by a gun massacre. This violence must stop.

"Americans want us to act. We cannot dodge this conversation forever," the Democrat wrote. "We do not yet know the motivation behind this hateful act, but we stand united as a nation in pursuing justice for the innocent lives lost."