Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Gunman 'had mental illness issues'

A Florida man who killed his father then embarked on a 13-minute shooting spree had a history of mental illness (AP)
A Florida man who killed his father then embarked on a 13-minute shooting spree had a history of mental illness (AP)

A Florida man who killed his father then embarked on a 13-minute shooting spree around his sleepy neighbourhood before taking his own life had a history of mental illness, friends and family said.

Clifford Miller Jr, 24, killed his 52-year-old father, Clifford Miller Sr, before setting off on a rampage in Gainesville on Monday, wounding five men.

Gainesville police officer Tscharna Senn said Miller fired multiple rounds from a revolver at each spot, mostly while sitting in his truck.

"He did have a relationship with the remaining victims," Senn said. "Right now, we do not have a motive."

After killing his father and shooting five others, Miller drove his red pick-up truck and stopped in a friend's driveway. Frederick Wilson, who was once married to Miller's aunt, lives in the home and after hearing a gunshot found Miller dead with the gun in his lap.

Miller, who previously worked as a dishwasher at a Mexican restaurant in Gainesville, had a lengthy criminal history, court records showed.

When Miller was 19, he was found guilty of cocaine possession and violated probation, and every year since he was charged with either a traffic offence or other crimes.

As some of the conditions of his release from jail, Miller was required to take medication and undergo psychiatric treatment but it is unclear what sparked Monday's shooting spree.

Victims Cedric Joiner, 36, Lloyd Dunn, 67, Paul Anthony Sr, 43, and Vincent Saller, 43, all listed in critical condition, while Anthony Mitchell, 44, is in fair condition. The wounded were being treated at hospitals in the Gainesville area.

Gainesville, in the north-central part of the state, is home to the University of Florida, although police said there was no link between the school and the shooting.

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