The former Marine suspected in the point-blank shooting of an Idaho pastor has a history of mental illness, police announced Monday.
The announcement came as authorities continued their manhunt for the Marine, identified as 30-year-old Kyle Andrew Odom.
“Initial reports indicate that, yes, there was some history of mental illness there,” Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Lee White said at a press conference. “The degree of it and the scope of it, I really can’t speak about.”
Odom allegedly ambushed Tim Remington in the parking lot of the Altar Church in Coeur d’Alene on Sunday afternoon, shooting the pastor in the back and skull before fleeing, according to authorities. In what some members of his church have described as a “miracle,” Remington could be released from the hospital later this week and is expected to make a full recovery.
“We do not have any information on a possible motive for the attack,” White said, adding that police believe Odom acted alone.
With the motive still a mystery, the revelation that Odom suffered from mental illness could help explain the shooting, which drew national attention partly because it came a day after Remington prayed with Republican presidential contender Ted Cruz.
The revelation also is likely to add to the debate about the role of mental illness in gun violence, particularly among veterans.
It is still unclear if Remington’s appearance at the Cruz rally has any connection to the shooting, although it appears increasingly unlikely.
Remington’s niece told local television station KREM that her family believes the shooting was not connected to the rally, but rather was an act of madness.
Church officials, meanwhile, said that Odom had spent several days hanging around casing the scene before the shooting, which would also suggest the incident was unrelated to the rally.
Read more at The Washington Post