Every time there are reports of a mass shooting, there are a number of people who automatically question whether the suspect had mental health issues or was taking prescription medications such as antidepressants.
While history has shown that the most notorious mass shooters in this century were taking antidepressants or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) before they carried out the deadly rampages, there are a number of killings that have been linked directly to the dangerous drugs. In fact, the pharmaceutical companies behind the most popular SSRI’s have paid hundreds of millions of dollars in damages:
Eli Lilly Paid Secret Settlements to Survivors After Man on Prozac Went on Shooting Rampage in 1989
Joseph T. Wesbecker, 47, carried out a mass shooting in which he shot 20 workers at Standard Gravure Corp. in Kentucky, in September 1989. Eight of the victims were fatally wounded, and Wesbecker ended the rampage by shooting and killing himself.
Just one month earlier, Wesbecker had started taking the antidepressant Prozac, which included side effects such as “obsession with suicide and dangerously violent behavior,” according to an article in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
When the survivors of the shooting filed a lawsuit against Eli Lilly arguing that it had known about the propensity of Prozac to cause violent outbursts and suicidal tendencies, the company convinced the victims to agree to secret settlements outside of court.