The morning if April 20, 1999, I contacted Ruben Ortega, Chief of Police in Salt Lake City, to discuss with him the case of the Salt Lake LDS Family History Library shooting which happened 5 days earlier & had taken the life of my good friend Don Thomas. Don had been the security guard at the library for 28 years. Don & I had many long talks in the lobby of that very library about the dangers he was facing as a result of so many in Utah using antidepressants. I urged him over and over to be extremely careful in his position. I explained that as those on these drugs lose the memory of who they are they often turn to family history in an attempt to recall any memories to bind them to their loved ones. Sadly Don learned that lesson first hand that morning as he lost his life along with a woman who was a guest at the library before Salt Lake City police arrived shooting and killing the shooter 70 year old Sergei Babarin.
Chief Ortega pointed out that the woman shooter was also on these drugs. He then asked if I thought what was happening in Colorado at Columbine High School as we were speaking could possibly be a result of these drugs as well. I replied that I do not generally see two people go off the deep end at the same time on these drugs. But I told him that if these boys ended up killing themselves after the shooting I would be almost certain that they were taking antidepressants. Ironically when I checked timelines I found that I was making that statement right about the same time Eric and Dylan were committing suicide! The chief has been asked if I would join him in doing a press conference on this subject. I agreed. But sadly very shortly after that Chief Ortega retired after learning his wife was dying of cancer. They quickly moved back to their home in Phoenix Arizona where he had previously served as police chief for Phoenix. So the opportunity of doing a press conference it was no longer possible.
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