Last Tuesday, September 2nd, a shooting spree took place in Washington state resulting in the deaths of six people. 28 year old Issac Zamora, a man with a history of mental illness, has been charged with the crime. According to the Seattle Times, Dennise Zamora, the suspect’s mother, said her son was “extremely mentally ill” and had been living in the woods on and off for years. She said her son wasn’t aware of his mental illnesses. Among those killed was Sheriff Deputy Anne Jackson. Dennise Zamora said Jackson was aware of her son’s illness and told the Zamora family to call her anytime for help.
You would expect nothing but rage from the families of the victims, but following is a statement from Sheriff Jackson’s family:
We, the family of Anne Jackson, want to acknowledge and extend our profound gratitude to all those people, relatives, friends, complete strangers, and the law enforcement community who have come forward to assist and comfort us in this tragic time.
From the depth of our grief, not only for Anne, but for all of the families affected by this horrific event, we also want to say how proud were and are of Anne. She was committed to her work in the finest sense. She saw her job as an opportunity to help the people of her community.
She was a cheerful and giving soul, loving and beloved. We know that she knew, and had offered her personal help to the family of the man who committed this terrible act, because she had experienced the pain of a similar mental affliction suffered by her own brother.
The sorrows and tragedies of mental illness affect the health of the whole community. We wish to make it clear that we hold no animosity toward Issac Zamora or his family.
Anne Jackson will be remembered with love and respect by everyone who knew her.
What an amazing statement. It shows a family who truly has experienced the pain of having a family member with severe mental illness. Imagine if you lost a love one in a shooting. Would you be able to state that you “hold no animosity”?
When I was placed in the hospital for suicidal depression, I was advised I couldn’t own a gun for 5 years. This man had a history of serious mental illness and had just been released from jail a month ago! The Seattle Times additionally states:
Zamora was under state supervision and considered a high-risk offender, with convictions for theft and drug possession. In a news release, DOC Secretary Eldon Vail said Zamora had been released from jail during the first week of August. He had been serving time for felony drug possession, according to court records
How come there are not stricter gun control to keep them out of the hands of men like this? He was considered to be a high risk offender. What kind of society are we that allowed Zamora to roam free with a gun?
Why was this man, who has a long history with the police, and who was severely mentally ill allowed to run free? Why wasn’t he institutionalized? Was it complacency? Was it budget cuts? I don’t know.
I am not saying that Mr. Zamora is not responsible for his actions. He took the life of six people and must be held accountable for them. I think it is imperative, however, that we look at ourselves. How much society is society at fault? What can we do to prevent these type of events from happening all to often?
My thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims, including Issac Zamora and his family.