SAN JACINTO, Calif. (AP) — A Navy veteran sought help from Veterans Affairs before he allegedly pointed a handgun, but did not fire it, at a cafeteria table full of students at a Southern California community college, his father said.
Gregory Abejon, 26, was arrested at the airport Wednesday as he tried to flee the country after the incident at Mount San Jacinto College, a college southeast of Los Angeles where he had threatened to shoot fellow students.
His father, also named Gregory Abejon, told The Associated Press on Thursday he is "devastated right now" and declined to comment further.
The father told KCAL his son was discharged last November after a tour in Guantanamo Bay as a surgical technician. He said his son went to the on-campus VA assistance center Wednesday morning but was referred to an off-campus site.
The father told KCAL he doesn't know what happened between when his son went to the VA and when he entered the cafeteria. He also told the TV station that while nothing excused his son's alleged actions, it wasn't in his character to hurt people and the incident may have been a cry for help.
It was not immediately clear if the younger Abejon, who authorities say is a student at the college, had a lawyer who could speak on his behalf. He is in custody on $2 million bail for charges of possession a firearm in a school zone, brandishing a firearm and making terrorist threats, jail records show.
The Riverside County Sheriff's Office did not have additional information Thursday.