Jacksonville video game shooter David Katz was hospitalized twice in psychiatric units, had 26 police visits to his family's home and was considered capable of violence by a psychologist, but still received a gun legally, according to court documents reviewed By DailyMail.com.
Katz, 24, shot and killed two people before committing suicide on Sunday in a tournament "Madden 19 & # 39; in Florida. The weapon he used was one of the two he had purchased weeks earlier in his hometown of Baltimore from an authorized vendor.
But court records reveal his long history of mental health problems.
Katz was hospitalized twice in psychiatric institutions in Maryland as a teenager and prescribed powerful antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs, records from the Howard County Circuit Court showed.
In August 2007, Katz entered the Sheppard Pratt Health System in Townson for 12 days, where he was treated with antidepressants. He spent 13 days at Potomac Ridge, a mental health center in Rockville, about three months later.
Problematic Background: David Katz was admitted twice to a psychiatric center and was prescribed powerful antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs as a teenager.
In Maryland, gun buyers will not conduct a background check if they are involuntarily committed for a period of time with a psychiatric ward or are voluntarily admitted for more than 30 consecutive days.
Katz's stays were less than two weeks and apparently he has not committed involuntarily, a process that requires the approval of an administrative judge in most cases.
Police were called to Katz's house at 9558 Many Mile Mews in Columbia 26 times between 2003 and 2009; 14 calls did not require follow-up in writing and 12 calls had reports of accompanying incidents.
Among the reasons for the phone calls are sexual offense, medical emergency, social assistance verification, police information, domestic and mental illness, civil disputes, flight and police assistance, according to the Howard County Police Department.
Katz, who appears never to have been arrested or charged with a crime, was not singled out for any of the multiple background checks by the state police when he went to buy a gun.
In documents filed with the court by DailyMail.com, a psychologist told the family court that David Katz could have the capacity for violence. "He expressed a lot of pain and anger towards his mother," Berman told the court in August 2007.
His mother, however, seemed not to believe it. In a transcript of custody case in 2007, he was asked in cross-examination if he agreed with Dr. Berman that his son could be a threat to his safety.
Mrs. Katz replied: "I think he has pushed me in the past, I think he would get a gun and it would hurt me? No, not me.
RIP: Katz shot dead fellow players Eli Clayton (left) 22, and Taylor Robertson (right) 27, before committing suicide, after losing in a videogame tournament
Katz wounded nine others, including Timothy Anselimo (pictured with Florida Governor Rick Scott)
In a letter to the judge in the case of his parents' divorce when he was 16, Katz expressed hatred for his mother and begged her to live with his father.
I hate her more than anything in the world. I hate everything about her, "she wrote in the letter," She has beaten me before and always takes my things in. I never have enough food at my mother's house, but I have plenty to eat at my father's house. "
Dr. Daniel Webster, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Weapons Policy and Research, told DailyMail.com that there were "no easy answers". in the case because there was nothing in David Katz's background that prevented him from having a weapon.
"In this case, it seems that there was no legal justification to prevent this individual from owning a weapon," said Dr. Webster.
& # 39; In general terms, it is based on a history of violence and serious criminal activity. Our mental health disqualifiers tend to be those who are connected to a mental illness that causes dangerous and violent behavior. "
He added: "We have these high-profile shootings that we dissected to try to come to some broad conclusions about gun policy and armed violence." The reality is that most people who commit acts of violence have violent past he must forbid them to possess firearms. "
Katz shot dead Eli Clayton, 22, and Taylor Robertson, 27, and wounded nine others, before committing suicide on Sunday.
The player, who drove to Jacksonville from his home in Baltimore, had legally purchased a .45 caliber pistol and a 9mm pistol in Maryland, confirmed the Jacksonville Sheriff's Department.
Katz passed a background check and was able to legally buy a .45 caliber pistol and a 9mm pistol in Maryland days before the shooting.
He later placed the weapon with a laser sight, which can be seen trained on Clayton's chest moments before being killed in a chilling live video.
According to court records seen by DailyMail.com, Katz's parents, Elizabeth Katz, a 60-year-old former toxicologist for USDA, and Richard Katz, a NASA engineer, 58, bitterly faced each other on how to deal with your son's problems. They divorced in 2007.
Mrs. Katz took her son to doctors who prescribed Prozac and an antipsychotic called Risperdal, apparently against the wishes of her husband.
"Richard Katz has not seen evidence of schizophrenia in David Katz, David seems very aware of the reality at all times … In fact, Elizabeth Katz does not provide any evidence that any of the children suffer from schizophrenia," says one presentation.
Maryland law requires psychiatric institutions to inform the State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene of any individual who has been admitted.
When a person attempts to purchase a firearm, the police require their written authorization for the Health Department to disclose whether they have a mental disorder, have a history of violent behavior, or have been confined for more than 30 days to a psychiatric ward. .
In a statement, a spokesman for the Maryland State Police said: "At the request of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, due to its ongoing criminal investigation, I can not speak directly about the information involving David Katz."
The state police, which is responsible for arms purchases, said its investigators do not have access to any information about the condition or treatment of the people, nor does the Maryland Department of Health have all the mental health information of the facilities. private.
There is no database of people suffering from a mental disorder, "according to the police.
A bitter dispute: the conflicting parents' different positions on their child's mental health were established on hundreds of pages of legal documents in court in Columbia, MD. The court case also revealed that Katz harbored a "hatred" towards his mother
If a person suffers from a mental disorder, the only way that investigators would notice is if someone shows up to notify that the person is a danger. Based on a doctor's statement, a purchase request would be denied.
"This process was implemented as a way for state agencies to do what we could to try to identify those who prohibited the mental health problems identified in state records," state police wrote.
On October 1, Maryland will introduce a new "red flag law" after the shooting in an Annapolis press room in June, which left five people dead.
Court documents show that Katz's father, Richard, was against his son taking antidepressants and antipsychotic medications
The legislation, an order of protection against extreme risks, will allow family members and law enforcement agencies to temporarily restrict a person's access to firearms if they are found to be a risk to themselves or others. It is possible that this new law has not been applied to David Katz as he has until now, there are no known details that he has recently presented a danger to himself or others.
State law requires that courts in Maryland denounce any person who is "mentally incompetent to face a trial" or who is assigned a guardian when they can not administer their affairs to the national instant criminal background check system.
Before anyone can obtain a firearm license, the state police performs a background check on several databases that include arrests and prosecutions, protection orders and civil crimes, and the Department of Juvenile Services.
According to federal law, people are generally prohibited from buying weapons if they have ever been involuntarily admitted to a psychiatric facility, according to the AP.
In all of EE. UU., There is no requirement for hospitals or psychiatric courts to notify involuntary commitments to the FBI for inclusion in a database used for weapons purchase background checks.
Katz's mental health problems seem to have arisen since childhood. Lenore County Circuit Judge Gelfman wrote in 2010: "David would spend days without bathing, playing video games until 4 a.m. On school nights, he would walk around the house in circles.
& # 39;[He] I was failing in all classes at Hammond High, I did not respond to school teachers and I did not cooperate with school psychotherapists / counselors and I was extremely hostile to their mother. "
At one point, when his mother tried to take his video game controllers, he opened a hole through the door of his bedroom to retrieve them, he told the court.
His parents could not be contacted after multiple attempts by DailyMail.com.
THE SECONDARY FRIEND OF DAVID KATZ SAYS IT WAS A FANTASTIC VIDEO GAME THAT RARELY SHOWERED AND WAS DISMISSED BY THE GIRLS
By Ben Ashford
The mass shooter turned video game addict, David Katz, was a "loser" and was infuriated by the defeats for days, an ex-school friend told DailyMail.com.
Zachary Kocher said that Katz would go to class at Hammond High School in Columbia, Maryland, complaining about his online matches the previous nights if he did not win. He said that his former friend, who did not have a single girlfriend and usually smelled like he had not showered for days, took each defeat so personally that it would make him angry and bitter.
The 24-year-old Katz had a gun battle on Sunday afternoon at the Madden NFL 19 tournament in Jacksonville, Florida, killing two gaming opponents and injuring 11 more people before firing the gun.
"I do not think he went there with the intention of shooting the place, but I think losing was the trigger," said Kocher, 25, who graduated with Katz in 2011.
"I do not think it's necessarily the cause because David had a lot of problems and things in his house, but it was probably what took him to the limit."
Kocher reminded his former classmate how constantly "emitting an aura of depression". However, both were friends and enjoyed talking about video games.
& # 39; David was definitely an addict. He always wanted to be a professional player, "he told DailyMail.com.
"He may have played the war game occasionally as Call of Duty, but sports games were his passion, especially Madden, NHL Hockey and 2K basketball.
"He never played any real sports or did anything else outside of school, he was just eager to get home every day so he could play his games." He was a bad loser. "He really missed losing. Madden the night before, he complained about it, saying he was complete BS.
"It was never his fault, it was the game itself that was suddenly garbage or not in his standards, his self-esteem was completely involved in the game."
Kocher said that Katz was rejected by the girls and considered as "strange" & # 39; for your fellow students. He said that the game fan often seemed scruffy and tired, as if he had been playing all night.
"David tried to have a girl, but they did not really like him because of the way he acted, he always seemed depressed," said Kocher, a retail worker in Columbia, Maryland.
– He never smiled. I do not know if he took drugs but I suspected that the use of marijuana was possible. "He went to school looking like he was dragged out of bed, his eyes would be baggy.
"I do not think he was very hygienic – he usually smelled like he had not taken a shower in a long time." Despite his previous friends seeming depressed and obsessed with the games, Kocher said he was still surprised by his killer armed attack.
"When I saw his picture, he left me hallucinated, I said Santa shit, that was my friend from school," he added.
"People may have said it was weird, but it was great with me." "I was very surprised that he would kill people, but I was not surprised that he reacted badly to the loss."