Killer’s ar­moury ‘for­ti­fied his para­noia’

Waikato Times Weekend - - NEWS - STAFF RE­PORTER

"There is a lot of peo­ple out there suf­fer­ing with de­pres­sion and look what hap­pens if they don't get the care and help they need; they lose the plot and lash out."

Friend Leah Cameron

Quinn Pat­ter­son rang his sis­ter to say ‘‘good­bye’’ af­ter shoot­ing two women dead out­side his house.

Sis­ter Glo­ria re­vealed he left a voice­mail say­ing he was ‘‘go­ing to do some­thing to him­self’’ af­ter gun­ning down Wendy Camp­bell and her daugh­ter Natanya in cold blood in ru­ral North­land on Wed­nes­day.

Pat­ter­son then died as his house went up in flames fol­low­ing a stand­off with po­lice.

Two women lay dead and a third per­son es­caped with in­juries af­ter a rou­tine in­spec­tion of Pat­ter­son’s prop­erty turned fa­tal.

Pat­ter­son’s sis­ter con­firmed that her brother was not in a fit men­tal state be­fore Wed­nes­day’s tragic events un­folded.

‘‘I knew that he wasn’t in a good place but I didn’t know that he would do what he did – I didn’t know what would hap­pen – but sui­cide was def­i­nitely there,’’ she said.

‘‘I started the griev­ing process a lit­tle while back with him so I’m al­ready part way down.

‘‘It’s just too much, you can only stretch your­self so far and there is no time for me to even grieve.’’

Pat­ter­son had four sib­lings in to­tal, in­clud­ing three broth­ers.

NO GUN LI­CENCE

Pat­ter­son did not hold a gun li­cence but was in pos­ses­sion of firearms, po­lice have con­firmed.

The rev­e­la­tion he owned an ex­ten­sive arse­nal has come as a sur­prise to close friend Leah Cameron but it did point to his ‘‘dooms­day ide­olo­gies’’.

‘‘He did talk a lit­tle about fa­tal­is­tic, end-of-the-world the­o­ries, so maybe that’s why he had a gun,’’ she said.

‘‘His father was into that sort of thing, the ide­ol­ogy of the world get­ting to a point where there is no moral com­pass any­more, and the fi­nan­cial sys­tems col­laps­ing and that we’d lost that spir­i­tual thing that keeps us go­ing,’’ Cameron said.

Pat­ter­son had amassed a vast amount of guns, in­clud­ing ri­fles, hand guns, a shot gun, thou­sands of rounds of am­mu­ni­tion, and even grenades – and had for­ti­fied his home in para­noia.

Since Wed­nes­day, neigh­bours have re­called hear­ing am­mu­ni­tion be­ing fired from Pat­ter­son’s prop­erty on a reg­u­lar ba­sis be­fore the tragedy.

‘RED FLAGS’

Cameron said he was in the mid­dle of a de­pres­sive episode, with Pat­ter­son him­self say­ing ‘‘I don’t want to be here ... I’m done with it’’.

Cameron said Pat­ter­son would of­ten con­fide in her and the pair were tex­ting a week be­fore the shoot­ing.

See­ing ob­vi­ous red flags, Cameron urged Pat­ter­son to seek help and find a so­lu­tion to which he replied: ‘‘What can I do? This world is no place for me.’’

The pair had known each other for about seven years and Cameron said he was out­spo­ken, and a ‘‘seeker of the truth’’.

‘‘He had a men­tal health is­sue and his anx­i­ety lev­els be­com­ing worse ... he was re­ally start­ing to strug­gle.’’

She said he was try­ing to hide from his true feel­ings and un­re­solved men­tal and emo­tional is­sues, not know­ing how to deal with them – lead­ing up his ul­ti­mate ‘‘break­ing point’’.

De­spite this, Cameron said he had good self-aware­ness of his men­tal state.

‘‘He would try dif­fer­ent di­ets and nutri­tion. He has a good re­la­tion­ship with his GP.

‘‘But I think there is no one quick fix for a de­pres­sive men­tal health. It’s a jour­ney and re­quires a lot of com­mit­ment to get well and I know that he did try.’’

Cameron said he was very mis­un­der­stood, and his as­sertive­ness could of­ten come across as con­fronta­tional and brash.

‘‘You could char­ac­ter as­sas­si­nate him and say he had the clas­sic psy­cho-type, nutter per­son­al­ity,’’ she said.

‘‘But this is just a man that has gone AWOL be­cause he had a de­pres­sive men­tal health is­sue and those two beau­ti­ful peo­ple have suf­fered for it.’’

She said his mother, Burma, and father, Dale, had both passed away. He had three broth­ers and one sis­ter, to whom he was very close.

He also had a wife and two grown-up sons in their late 20s and 30s.

‘‘It’s shaken the coun­try up like an emo­tional earth­quake and it’s brought up all these feel­ings of anger and sad­ness, re­venge, hate, grief,’’ Cameron added.

‘‘There is a cri­sis in New Zealand in men­tal health, and we need to do some­thing about it oth­er­wise there might be an­other Quinn in­ci­dent.

‘‘There is a lot of peo­ple out there suf­fer­ing with de­pres­sion and look what hap­pens if they don’t get the care and help they need; they lose the plot and lash out,’’ Cameron said.

Con­trac­tor Jeff Pipe, who was brought along to in­stall smoke alarms, was also shot by Pat­ter­son and re­mains in hos­pi­tal in a sta­ble con­di­tion.

Quinn Pat­ter­son

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