Inside The Mind Of A Killer

Dr. Gale Beardsley
Dr. Gale Beardsley

HONOLULU (KHNL) - A lone gunman on a deadly mission, killing at least 30 on the Virginia Tech campus.

"The best explanation that I can offer is that he was delusional, that he was in a paranoid state," said Dr. Gale Beardsley, a psychiatrist.

Dr. Beardsley said irrational thinking sometimes causes a person to take drastic measures.

"The perpetrator was most likely thinking in a different realm than you and I think, that cross the line between rational thinking and psychotic and delusional thinking," said Dr. Beardsley.

It's difficult to pick out those who may be on the edge.

"Generally people who are paranoid tend to be prone to isolating," said Dr. Beardsley. "They tend to feel that others are potentially harmful to them, so they isolate."

But loners aren't necessarily more likely to commit violence.

"It's hard to start looking for warning signs because what's normal and abnormal overlap so much," said Dr. Beardsley.

And as the investigation continues, the victims could suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, an anxiety disorder that can occur following the exposure to a traumatic event.

"That would suggest they haven't been able to resolve that process well and they're being haunted by bad sleep, bad dreams, flashbacks of the event, could be a very disabling condition," said Dr. Beardsley.

Victims left to pick up the pieces, after the deadliest shooting massacre in U.S. history.

Those experiencing post traumatic stress disorder or other forms of grief are encouraged to seek professional help.