The man who shot and killed five service members in Chattanooga, Tennessee, was battling depression, had suicidal thoughts and was on a three-day downward spiral before the attack, a family representative told NBC News.
The gunman, Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez, also had money problems, said the representative, who asked not to be identified. Abdulazeez rented a Mustang convertible before the shooting and was driving around at excessive speeds, he said.
Federal investigators are reviewing a set of papers kept by Abdulazeez as they try to piece together why he opened fire Thursday at two military facilities in Chattanooga, killing four Marines and a sailor.
An unnamed family representative told The Associated Press on Sunday that Abdulazeez, 24, traveled to Jordan last year to try to escape bad influences that appeared to be dominating his life.
That trip came after a failed effort by relatives several years ago to have Abdulazeez admitted to an inpatient drug and alcohol program, and after a DUI arrest in Chattanooga three months ago, said the family representative.
Abdulazeez told police after an April 20 arrest that he had been sniffing powdered caffeine and smoking marijuana, and the representative told the AP that he used prescription muscle relaxers for back problems and medication to help him sleep for a night-time manufacturing job.