Faced with a gun, I think I’d say, “Okay! Okay! You’re Jesus!”

Based on the ads accompanying this article, I’m assuming this took place in Seymour, Missouri. Parents returned home to find their son and their gun waiting for them.

Zakariah Jacob Evitt, a decorated army veteran, had recently come to the conclusion that he was Jesus incarnate and was tired of his folks not believing him. He reportedly shot his mother twice in the chest with their .22 caliber rifle and would have shot his father, too, but the man knew that in a game of serious hide and seek the last place to hide is in the shower.

Later, Webster County Sheriff Roye Cole had a chat with the would-be prophet.

Evitt, 26, talked with him about the late rapper Tupac Shakur and insists he is now Nicholas Jacob, a prophet of God and Jesus returned, the sheriff said.

A series of postings on Evitt’s Facebook page has multiple comments about Shakur and gangster rap in the hours before the shooting.

Evitt’s father, Terry, told Cole his son hadn’t slept for six days, Cole said.

“I don’t know if it has anything to do with sleep,” the sheriff said.

Lack of REM sleep alters neuroreceptors in the brain so they lose their sensitivity to serotonin and norepinephrine. This ultimately leads to impaired cognitive function. Who says TV can’t teach you anything?

“He had absolutely zero remorse when I talked to him,” the sheriff said. “Every other word is the f-word, but that’s OK because he’s Jesus.”

It didn’t appear Evitt was under the influence of drugs, the sheriff said.

Cole said he is trying to figure out why a veteran who among other postings served in Afghanistan and who received several medals could be violent toward his parents.

Do the words Post Traumatic Stress Disorder mean anything to you? Whether or not you want to agree it exists at the levels people say it does, I don’t think you can deny that being that far from home under threat of death every day and living with the possibility of having to kill other people at some point in that day is going to mess with the mind a little. Veteran Affairs reports:

Our recent Veterans are seeking care at VA more than ever before. VA data show that from 2002 to 2009, 1 million troops left active duty in Iraq or Afghanistan and became eligible for VA care. Of those troops, 46% came in for VA services. Of those Veterans who used VA care, 48% were diagnosed with a mental health problem

Which likely means that half of the soldiers who didn’t go for VA care should have gotten professional help even though they didn’t think they needed it. Maybe Evitt was one of those guys. I’d blame a reluctance to admit weakness before I’d blame Tupac. I’m sure it’s possible to listen to Tupac and not come out of the experience wanting to kill people. Mind you, I can’t recall ever listening to any so I might be wrong there.

Tupac wouldn’t have jollied him out of his mood in any way, but it’s possible he picked that artist merely to reflect his mood at that moment. A lot of people use music that way. I do. Sometimes I need to feel like someone out there really understands how I’m feeling right now and if there isn’t a friend around who can do that, a voice set to music can be the next best thing.

Hopefully Mrs. Evitt was not mortally wounded by her son and will recover without any complications.

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