Digging into past of accused shooter - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Digging into past of accused shooter

Joseph Shriver (source: Lincoln County Sheriff's Office) Joseph Shriver (source: Lincoln County Sheriff's Office)

We've been digging into accused gunman, Joseph Shriver's past. He's accused of shooting a Madison County Sheriff's Deputy and a Fayetteville, Tennessee Police Officer. 

Joseph Shriver's mother, Sarah Shriver said in her own words her 23-year-old son "snapped." She even brought up that his military background could have been a factor.

Before investigators connected Joseph Shriver to an armed robbery at a convenience store, shooting a Madison County Sheriff's Deputy in the face and a Fayetteville officer in the shoulder, he was simply known as an army veteran.

Military records show Private Shriver's service in the Army as an infantryman was just terminated seven months ago. The Army confirmed to WAFF 48 that he was not dishonorably discharged. He served a tour in Iraq between November 2009 and August 2010.

In the moments following Shriver's arrest, Madison County Sheriff Blake Dorning wondered why it all happened.

"I really wish I knew what made people do this type of thing but it was unprovoked," he said.

WAFF 48 contacted Shriver's mother who gave us some insight on her son.

She said "The war had a significant impact on him and he was dealing with a lot from that experience."

When we asked about his involvement in the shootings, she said "He snapped. It was obviously him that did it, but this isn't who he is... You don't know what he has been through."

She added "He has a heart of gold and this is not who he is, he obviously snapped."

We've all heard of countless stories of military veterans who may come back from war suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

WAFF 48 tried to ask Shriver's mother if he had ever been diagnosed with PSTD but she hung up before responding.


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