Depression meds found in Accent Signage shooter's home, police sayby Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio
MINNEAPOLIS — A police search of the home of Accent Signage Systems shooter Andrew Engeldinger found medications commonly prescribed for depression and insomnia, according to a Minneapolis Police Department report.
The medications are an indication that Engeldinger may have been treated for mental illness. That contrasts with the account of family members who said Engeldinger refused psychiatric treatment and had never been diagnosed with a mental illness. Family members said Engeldinger stopped talking to them about two years ago when he became increasingly paranoid and delusional.
Authorities have not said whether mental illness played a role in the killing. Police say Engeldinger shot and killed five people before committing suicide after being fired from his job at Accent Signage in Minneapolis on Sept. 27.
Police found prescription bottles for two anti-depressant medications, Mirtazapine and Trazodone, and for Temazepam, a medication used to treat insomnia, in Engeldinger's home. They also found many empty prescription bottles, including 18 empty prescription bottles for a generic form of the anti-depressant drug Wellbutrin, according to the police report.
All of the prescriptions bottles bore Engeldinger's name. The report did not list the dates of the prescriptions or the names of prescribing physicians. Engeldinger's mother, Carolyn Engeldinger, told police the family has a history of schizophrenia. Police did not find any anti-psychotic medications, which are commonly prescribed for schizophrenia, in Engeldinger's home.
The report also indicates Engeldinger's interest in guns likely began about a year ago.
Minneapolis Police Sgt. Michael Chiappetta, who works part-time at the Burnsville Rifle and Pistol Range, told police he recognized Engeldinger as a frequent customer at the range. He said Engeldinger appeared to be a "new shooter and was trying to gain proficiency shooting," according to the report.
Burnsville Rifle and Pistol Range owner Roger Hird told investigators Engeldinger started coming to the range about a year ago and had practiced there 44 times, most recently on July 29. The range temporarily closed down a few days later due to a fire. The company has not responded to calls and emails seeking comment.
Engeldinger bought the gun he used in the shooting from a Minneapolis gun store.
He ordered 12,000 rounds of 9 mm ammunition from the website of SGAmmo, a company based in Oklahoma, from Oct. 15, 2011 to July 9, 2012 and paid $2,704.32, the report said.
Police have not determined when Engeldinger made the decision to carry out the deadly rampage. Several employees interviewed by police described Engeldinger as a loner who had problems showing up to work on time. No one described him as violent.
William Sullivan, identified by police as Engeldinger's "primary co-worker," told investigators that Engeldinger was "a laid back guy" who rarely started a conversation or discussed personal matters.
Engeldinger never talked about guns and never said that he disliked anyone at work, Sullivan told police.
In the hours leading up to the killing, Sullivan did not notice anything unusual about his coworker's behavior.
"Everything appeared to be normal," he told police.
• Follow Madeleine Baran on Twitter: http://twitter.com/madeleinebaran