Wilmington veterans react to California bar shooting

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Marine Corps Veteran Kristen Wilkerson discusses PTSD. (Photo: Matt Bennett/WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Two days after 12 people lost their lives at the hands of a Marine Corps veteran in California, some are wondering if post traumatic stress disorder is to blame.

Authorities say Ian Long, 28, had a previous run in with police back in April after reports of a disturbance.

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They say a crisis team had concerns that he might be suffering from PTSD but he was cleared anyway.

Two veterans gave their thoughts on the issue during an event at Cape Fear Community College this morning.

“Just because someone’s been in the military doesn’t necessarily mean that they should be a threat,” said Marine Corps veteran and CFCC student Kristen Wilkerson. “They’re still human, we’re all human. And I think that life is just really hard. And I think that after having that stability in the military, coming out of it can make life just seem even more unstable than it already is,” she said.

Jacob Aceret, president of CFCC’s Student Veterans Organization gave his thoughts as well.

“Probably the biggest factor I think with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is that alone feeling, of not feeling like they either fit in or there’s something wrong with them,” said Aceret. “There’s nothing wrong with them. It is what happened to them and the unfortunate circumstances of what happened to them that was wrong in the first place,” he said.

The shooter was never formally diagnosed with PTSD.