May 24, 2007

Moscow Shootings

Marcia Franklin examines recent shootings in Moscow and Boise from a mental health perspective. The shootings raise questions about the accessibility of mental health treatment in Idaho, access to guns by the mentally ill, and laws regarding civil commitment.

Franklin's guests include: Sheriff Wayne Rausch, Latah County Sheriff; Judge John Bradbury, who oversees the mental health court in Clearwater County; Dr. Arnold Kadrmas, medical director of the mental health center at St. Joseph's Hospital in Lewiston; Professor Michael Blankenship of the Department of Criminal Justice at Boise State University; and Joel Mills, Palouse reporter for the Lewiston Morning Tribune.

Saturday night, May 20, 36-year old Jason Hamilton began spraying bullets into the Latah County dispatch center in Moscow. He killed an officer, a sexton at a nearby church, and then committed suicide. It was later discovered that he had also killed his wife. Hamilton had a long history with law enforcement and had recently told a mental health professional that he wanted to commit suicide by killing others with him.

The shooting comes on the heels of the March 31 murder of another Moscow resident, David Boss, who was allegedly killed by 21-year old John Delling. Delling, a former Idahoan who also is suspected of killing Boisean Bradley Morse on April 2, has a history of psychiatric disturbances.