Man with History of Mental Illness Attacks Congressional Staffers
Accused Attacker Has Long Struggle with Schizophrenia
Xuan Kha Tran Pham, 49, has been charged with aggravated wounding, malicious aggravated wounding, felony destroying property, and a misdemeanor hate crime after allegedly attacking two female staffers for Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) with a baseball bat. The incident occurred on Monday, May 15th, and Tran Pham was arraigned the following day.
Tran Pham’s father, Hy Pham, told The Washington Post that his son has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and has struggled with mental illness since he was a teenager. Despite his father’s efforts to get him help, Tran Pham’s condition remains untreated.
Previous Incidents with Law Enforcement
According to reports, Tran Pham has had previous incidents with law enforcement, including an incident last year where a police officer sustained minor injuries while responding to a call involving him. Tran Pham also filed a lawsuit against the CIA last year, claiming that the spy agency was torturing him “from the fourth dimension.”
US Capitol Police Responds
The U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) released a statement regarding the incident, stating that they do not have any information that the suspect was known to them. Special Agents with the United States Capitol Police Threat Assessment Section were dispatched to Fairfax, Virginia, and the department coordinated with their partners at the Fairfax City Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Washington Field Office.
Motivation for Attack Unclear
At this time, it is not clear what the suspect’s motivation may have been. The Fairfax City Police Department responded and arrested the suspect. Congressman Connolly was not in the office at the time of the assaults.
This incident highlights the importance of addressing mental illness and providing resources for those who struggle with it. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families during this difficult time.
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