‘I’m heartbroken’: Mother of suspected Henry County shooter apologizes to neighbors
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Two days after a man shot and killed four people in a Henry County subdivision, the suspect’s mother is apologizing to neighbors for her son’s alleged actions.
“I’m heartbroken,” Lorna Dennis told Atlanta News First.
On Saturday, police named Dennis’ son, 40-year-old Andre Longmore, as the suspected shooter. After a day-long manhunt, Longmore died on Sunday in a shootout with law enforcement in Jonesboro.
Dennis said she wants her neighbors to know that she’s sorry for what her son did.
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Longmore served in the 82nd Airborne Division for six years and won several awards for stellar performance, according to Dennis.
Longmore was a 92A (Automated Logistical Specialist) in the Army from August 2000 to May 2006, according to an Army spokesperson. He held the rank of Sergeant.
A spokesperon detailed a long list of accolades that Longmore earned during his service, including the Army Commendation Medal (2nd award), Army Achievement Medal (2nd award), Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Combat Action Badge, Parachutist Badge, and Driver and Mechanic Badge w/Driver – Wheeled Vehicles.
But Dennis said her son saw death in Afghanistan and Iraq, which led to his mental decline years later.
Suddenly, Longmore couldn’t sleep. He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and schizophrenia, Dennis said. She tried to get him help, but Longmore refused. He didn’t think anything was wrong.
Due to privacy restrictions, a spokesperson for the Atlanta VA Medical Center could not confirm if Longmore was ever a patient, but provided this statement.
“We are deeply saddened by this tragedy, and our thoughts are with those affected by this devastating loss. We are unable to share additional details at this time. The Atlanta VAHCS will continue to support local authorities as the investigation continues,” said an Atlanta VA spokesperson.
Now, Dennis believes the military created “a monster,” she said.
Dennis added that Longmore attacked her on Friday, a day before the shooting. She was not seriously hurt.
On Sunday, authorities named the shooting victims as Scott Leavitt, 67, Shirley Leavitt, 66, Steve Blizzard, 65, and Ronald Jeffers, 66. Scott and Shirley Leavitt were married and looking forward to retirement, according to a family friend who launched an online fundraiser.
Neighbors who spoke with Atlanta News First said that the event shook them.
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“I just can’t believe it,” Roy Hendrix, who lives close to one of the victims’ houses, said. “I never would have thought in a million years something like this would transpire.”
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