Suspect was hospitalized for depression — (The Daily Mail)

SSRI Ed note: Man with no history of violence takes Prozac and shoots a woman for no reason. He is charged; depression is blamed.

Original article no longer available

The Daily Mail

Chris Stirewalt, Daily Mail Staff

Wednesday October 20, 2004

Water company workers subdued man quickly after woman shot in back

The sister of a man accused of an on-the-job shooting at West Virginia- American Water Co. said he has been hospitalized in the past for severe bouts of depression.

Otto Tysor, 70, was being held at the South Central Regional Jail today on a malicious wounding charge after allegedly shooting Anita Jarrett, a water company customer service representative, in the back.

Jarrett is the sister-in-law of water company president Chris Jarrett, who said she was resting well early today after a lengthy, life-saving surgery Tuesday evening. She remained under evaluation in the intensive care unit at Charleston Area Medical Center’s General Hospital.

“She hasn’t been able to speak with anyone,” Chris Jarrett said. “The surgery was a success. But we still don’t know exactly what happened.”

Chris Jarrett said Tysor is an employee of Patton Building Services, a subcontractor hired by the water company to provide janitorial services at its Pennsylvania Avenue headquarters.

The incident happened about 4 p.m. inside the company’s offices, Charleston Police Sgt. S.A. Cooper said. Cooper said police didn’t know where the gun came from or what precipitated the shooting.

Cooper said that after Anita Jarrett was shot, other employees who heard gunfire rushed to her aid and disarmed and detained Tysor. Cooper said the other employees locked Tysor in a closet until police arrived.

Juanita Watts, Tysor’s sister who lives near him on Roseberry Circle, said her brother didn’t have a violent nature, but had been battling depression for some time.

“His mind goes out on him sometimes,” Watts said.

Watts said Tysor had been admitted to the hospital several times in recent years to deal with depression. When Tysor was being arraigned in Kanawha Magistrate Court on Tuesday, he told authorities he was on Prozac, a potent antidepressant, WSAZ NewsChannel 3 reported.

While being escorted into court, Tysor told a reporter from the station that the shooting had been an accident. He said he was sorry and didn’t mean to harm anyone.

Chris Jarrett met with employees this morning to talk about the shooting and provide an update of his sister-in-law’s condition.

“We’re still trying to sort everything out,” Chris Jarrett said.

Writer George Gannon contributed to this story.   Contact writer Chris Stirewalt at 348-4824.