The father of the alleged shooter at the Georgia State Patrol post in Gainesville sent a statement late Tuesday night to The Times about his son’s actions prior to Monday morning’s incident.
Lee Marchetta, the father of Leighton Beaux Marchetta, began his statement thanking the Georgia State Patrol troopers for restraint.
“My son suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, and was discharged from the Army in June of 2014 because of another attempted suicide,” Lee Marchetta wrote.
Lee Marchetta’s statement was critical of the Veterans Affairs administration, saying his son was evaluated on Friday. His son, Lee Marchetta wrote, was afraid that missing appointments with the group would cause it to take longer to get rescheduled for treatment.
“It is a shame that it came to this in order for him to even possibly begin to receive treatment from the VA for his PTSD,” Lee Marchetta wrote.
Leighton Marchetta, according to his father’s statement, was distraught over his Army friend’s suicide, causing him to drink “half of a fifth of vodka” on the night before the incident.
The morning of the incident, Lee Marchetta wrote, his son drove away angry.
“I had no idea that he had taken his hunting rifle with him when he left, nor what he intended to do with it,” Lee Marchetta wrote. “I cannot help but wonder if he planned to kill himself with it, but could not bring himself to do so.”