Lincoln Chick-Fil-A shooting: Mental health expert shares insights

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LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) -- Lincoln Police are digging into the days and hours before Joseph Cimino crashed his truck into a Chick-Fil-A.

Today is World Mental Health Day. One in four adults will experience mental illness in a given year. Experts say that this is one of those stories that could raise awareness for all of us.

Joseph Cimino recorded a series of rambling videos posted to YouTube last week. It’s a glimpse into the background of the man who went on a rampage this week at a South Lincoln Chick-Fil-A.

Angry over his food order, witnesses said he began throwing trays of sandwiches and fries, punching equipment. After being escorted out, he ran his truck into the building.

As Lincoln Police examined the hours before this incident, they learned his apartment manager questioned if he was going to jump in front of a car the day before.

A Lincoln Police officer talked with him the day before and determined he wasn’t, in fact, a threat to himself or others.

In general, experts suggest we should look at mental health differently.

"Let's say you drive by a 7/11 and see someone with a gun, and they're gonna hold up the place. First thing everyone thinks of is to call 9-1-1," said Deb Anderson with Project Harmony. "When you see someone with a mental health problem, you don't think to automatically call 9-1-1 — and we should have the same reaction."

The more we talk about mental health the more we can reduce it, Anderson said.

As for the suspect in Lincoln, he was armed with a stun gun at the restaurant and according to witnesses, came at a special agent for the railroad, who shot and killed him. The incident has left many wondering whether anything could have been done in the days before to help him.