As the sniper remains on the loose in the greater Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, the question many are asking is simple: Why would anyone shoot ten innocent and seemingly unrelated people? As experts continue to theorize about the mindset of a person capable of such acts, their hypotheses vary slightly but remain astonishingly similar: The killer is not psychotic, but rather rational in his thinking. Here, three mental health experts weigh in.
• "He is not someone who is psychotic," says Mark Levy, M.D., FAPA, a forensic psychiatrist and assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco. Instead, Levy believes that it would be more accurate to classify the shooter as someone suffering from "severe depression with psychotic features, such as delusional preoccupations and obsessions."