Reporting Karen Anderson
BOSTON (CBS) – The New Hampshire man who was the intended target in what appears to be a Colorado copycat plan says he hadn’t spoken with the suspect Tim Courtois in a dozen years, and is stunned to learn of his intent to kill.
The man, who asked not to use his name, says Courtois worked for him for five years and he had been a good employee, but they parted ways after Courtois decided he didn’t want to go through with a plan to buy his insurance business. He says they eventually resolved the issue.
The business owner says Courtois was fascinated with guns, but says he had never shown signs of violence. He had struggled with feeling appreciated, despite an outpouring of support for him from the community in New Hampshire, and was diagnosed with mental illness.
What could have triggered this?
The man says, “I believe he went off his medication and somehow the combination of being off medication and fascination with guns and the recent events in Colorado and this movie with this character, Bane, all came together as a cluster of some form of psychotic static that caused him to lose his mental capacity.”
He believes that Courtois planned to go to a meeting where his former boss and 20-25 others would be in Derry New Hampshire on Sunday. “I think he would have harmed me because I think that would have given him the sense of being one up on the person in Colorado. I think he felt as though if Colorado could do 12, he felt he might have done a little better than that. That imbalance, that mental leap may have taken place.”
WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Laurie Kirby reports
He says he is grateful to the Maine State Trooper for being vigilant and taking Courtois into custody before he could hurt anyone. “He has my deepest thanks and the thanks of my wife and other people who could have been harmed in that process. He doesn’t know how many people he’s probably helped. They do a wonderful job and they certainly did a wonderful job that day.”
He is now calling for more gun control, and hopes this will be a wake up call for action. He says, “The spinelessness of legislators and other people that don’t want to address those issues is just mind boggling. It’s un-American is really what it is. If you had a spine, you would stand up to that money and influence to people who say they have to go hunting with AK-47s.”
As for Courtois, he feels compassion despite the threats. “It’s incredibly sad. I can’t tell you how sad it makes me feel to know that a person who was cared so much about by so many people in his small community, this small community could come to such an end. It’s sad. It’s very sad.”
Courtois was arrested Sunday for carrying a concealed weapon and criminal speeding.
On Tuesday, he was charged with several federal firearms offenses, including one count of making a false statement in connection with the acquisition of a firearm and two counts of possession of firearms by an unlawful user of controlled substances.