Antidepressant-Induced School Shootings Spread to Europe

Finnish School Shooter Joins List of Drug-Induced Kid Killers including Eric Harris, Kip Kinkel and Jeff Weise

ST. LOUIS: The mental health watchdog group, Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), says the antidepressant-induced school shootings plaguing the U.S. have now spread to Europe; Finnish gunman Pekka-Eric Auvinen is the tenth recent school shooter reported to be taking psychiatric drugs documented to cause violence, suicide, psychosis and mania. The death toll from these recent school shooters under the influence of mind-altering drugs now totals 39 dead and 84 wounded. Increases in these senseless acts of drug-induced suicide and violence prompted the watchdog to launch a new series of Public Service Announcements, warning parents to “Get the Facts. Fight Back.”

According to news reports, 18-year-old gunman Auvinen had been taking antidepressants before he killed eight people and wounded a dozen more at Jokela High School in southern Finland, then committed suicide. CCHR maintains that drug-induced tragedies such as this demonstrate the urgent need for more public awareness of the deadly side effects of the psychiatric drugs being prescribed to children—the reason for their new public service announcements that have been translated into 15 languages.

An estimated 63,000 suicides have been attributed to antidepressants, and after decades of denial from the psychiatric/mental health industry, the FDA finally required all antidepressants to warn of suicide risks for children and teens in 2004. Yet despite documented side effects of mania, psychosis, violence and homicidal ideation, and 10 recent school shooters documented to be under the influence of such drugs, the mass drugging of children and teens continues.

* Springfield, Oregon – May 21, 1998: 15-year-old Kip Kinkel murdered his parents and then proceeded to school where he opened fire on students in the cafeteria, killing two and wounding 22. Kinkel had been taking the antidepressant Prozac.

* Notus, Idaho – April 16, 1999: 15-year-old Shawn Cooper fired two shotgun rounds in his school, narrowly missing students. He was taking a prescribed SSRI antidepressant and Ritalin.

* Columbine, Colorado – April 20, 1999: 18-year-old Eric Harris and his accomplice, Dylan Klebold, killed 12 students and a teacher and wounded 26 others before killing themselves. Harris was on the antidepressant Luvox.

* Conyers, Georgia – May 20, 1999: 15-year-old T.J. Solomon was being treated with Ritalin when he opened fire on and wounded six of his classmates.

* Williamsport, Pennsylvania – March 7, 2000: 14-year-old Elizabeth Bush was taking the antidepressant Prozac when she shot at fellow students, wounding one.

* El Cajon, California – March 22, 2001: 18-year-old Jason Hoffman, on the antidepressants Celexa and Effexor, opened fire on his classmates, wounding three students and two teachers at Granite Hills High School.

* Greenbush, New York – February 2004: 16-year-old Jon Romano strolled into his high school in east Greenbush and opened fire with a shotgun. Special education teacher Michael Bennett was hit in the leg. Romano had been taking “medication for depression”.

* Red Lake, Minnesota – March 2005: 16-year-old Jeff Weise, on Prozac, shot and killed his grandparents, then went to his school on the Red Lake Indian Reservation where he shot dead 7 students and a teacher, and wounded 7 before killing himself.

* Cleveland, Ohio – October 10, 2007: 14-year-old Asa Coon stormed through his school with a gun in each hand, shooting and wounding four before taking his own life. Court records show Coon had been placed on the antidepressant Trazadone.

To view the PSAs, go to www.cchr.org/psas/. For a detailed report on psychiatric drugs and violence read CCHR’s publication, Psychiatric Drugs and Anger Management Curricula—A Perspective on School Violence.

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights is an international psychiatric watchdog group co-founded in 1969 by the Church of Scientology and Dr. Thomas Szasz, Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus, to investigate and expose psychiatric violations of human rights. Contact CCHR St. Louis at 314-727-8307 or cchrstl@cchrstl.org.