CBS News is reporting that the killer's father is rabidly anti-American, pro-Taliban and possibly delusional. According to the report, the father, who lives in California, has been sporting military attire and believes himself to be part of an Afghan government in exile.
Are we looking at a case of the apple near the tree?
Given what we've heard so far about the killer, we might suspect a meeting of serious mental illness and extremist ideology, though I wouldn't rule out the ideology part being mostly a rationalization for a murderous rampage triggered by a deeper conflict related to homosexuality. Can't say for sure, of course, but there have been reports today that the killer had been going to that gay bar for three years, and that he was using an online gay-dating app. On the other hand, the FBI has interviewed him twice, possibly because of suspected contact with terror groups or a worrisome interest in Islamic terror. In any case, it isn't necessarily a matter of determining either/or -- ideology or mental illness -- both can coexist in an escalating, synergistic relationship.
Caveat: Early reports in situations like this often turn out to be misleading, distorted or simply false, so it's all speculation right now, but it certainly looks like there was a lot going on with the killer. I wonder what else we'll learn in the coming weeks.
Weird sidebar: The gun dealer who sold the killer guns before the shooting has posted rabidly anti-Muslim statements on social media. When asked about selling guns to the killer, he said that if he didn't sell the guns to the killer, someone else would have. Yes, probably true, but I wonder if he felt any uneasiness or had any inkling that something wasn't quite right about this customer.
Fellow students at the police academy the killer attended thought he was gay, and one said that the killer asked him out on a date in 2006. There is also a report that his ex-wife revealed on Brazilian television that she thought he "had gay tendencies" and "his father had called him gay in front of her. Dias also claimed 'the FBI asked her not to tell this to the American media.'"
I didn't know the shooter had a current wife. CBS News is reporting that she told investigators that she tried to talk her husband out of the attack. She may face criminal charges.
In a press conference airing now, the father sounds contrite and reasonable. Everything he's saying seems appropriate under the circumstances. He's handling the pressure of many questions very well.