Last October Stefan Martin-Urban attacked a carful of strangers in the town of Grand Junction, Colorado. Now authorities in the area are suggesting that videogames may be to blame.
Martin-Urban shot and killed Terry Fine and Floyce Gallagher and wounded Fine’s wife Linda as they prepared to leave for a weekend break to Las Vegas. Floyce’s husband Michael, who miraculously escaped the attack uninjured, said that Martin-Urban’s face was devoid of emotion as he opened fire on Gallagher’s car. Martin-Urban pursued Gallagher as he raced the injured Linda to hospital, wounding a neighbor who came out to see if he could help. Martin-Urban later took his own life when he was spotted by police.
After the attack, investigators picked through Martin-Urban’s bedroom, looking for some kind of motive. They quickly realized that Martin-Urban had no prior connection to his victims, and left no journals, notes or diaries. Martin-Urban had no criminal record or any history of psychotic behavior, and the only thing they could find that gave them any insight into his mental state was his computer.
Apparently Martin-Urban spent an inordinate amount of time ‘playing games where the object is to kill and steal’, even spending a family vacation holed up in a hotel playing games while his mother and sister went sightseeing. Speaking to the Denver Post, Sgt. Tony Clayton of the Grand Junction police theorized: “It could be that he was simply acting out a part in a video game. Maybe he had interjected himself into a game in his mind.”
Sgt. Clayton said of Martin-Urban’s behavior, “In the last year, he had no friends. No boyfriend. No girlfriend. No pets. He was consumed with the video games. He spent an enormous amount of time playing them.”
The picture that is painted by Sgt. Clayton is that Martin-Urban was an isolated individual with emotional issues and an obsessive personality. His father committed suicide in 2007 and among favourites on his YouTube profile was a video from a cult that prophesied the arrival of alien beings. It’s easy to see why such an individual would lose themselves in games, but to suggest that the games were the cause seems to be mistaking the symptom for the disease.
Source: via GamePolitics