But it is still a tragedy, and if not for the unusual choice of improvised weapon, this would have been only a local news story. The headline is not an excuse, it appears. From October 30, 2012 ABC News:
Widow: Man Who Killed Texas Pastor Mentally Ill
The man who rammed his car into a Fort Worth-area church then beat the pastor to death with an electric guitar apparently suffered from a mental illness, his widow said.From October 31, 2012 McClatchy News Services:
Birdow said that she begged her husband to get help and that he went to a hospital a few days ago. But "they let him go."...Birdow died when police used a Taser on him. According to family, he was not a drug user, and this bizarre behavior developed quite recently -- in the last few weeks. He was 33, which is a little old for schizophrenia to develop, but certainly not unknown. It also appears that the pastor had been engaged in marital counseling with Birdow and his wife. I wonder if the pastor missed the signs of mental illness? I would love to know the story from the hospital where Birdow's brother took it. Did they not see that there was a serious problem? Or was Birdow's unwillingness to be hospitalized the problem?
Earlier Tuesday, Derrick Birdow's brother, Glen Birdow, said Derrick had been acting strangely for about a week, saying that people were coming to kill him and that someone had stuck him with a needle.
Glen Birdow said he drove from South Texas to Fort Worth on Thursday to try to persuade his brother to check into a hospital. But the brother resisted.
"I love my brother. The whole family loved him, but they know that wasn't him," Glen Birdow said.
How many more of these tragedies does it take?