Many people from California and other areas of the country are willing to sacrifice their lives in order to protect others, including by joining the military. Unfortunately, many people who are deployed overseas will not return home in the same condition in which they left. While physical injuries are obvious, many members of the military suffer mentally as a result of their experience. Issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder can often have lifelong consequences. In fact, a mother in California speculates that the effects of PTSD are the only thing that could have prompted her son — who is now charged with multiple counts of attempted murder —  to commit the crimes of which he is accused.

The incident that led to the 34-year-old man’s arrest reportedly happened on a day in April. According to police, the man — described in media reports as a former U.S. Army sharpshooter — deliberately drove into a group of pedestrians on a crosswalk. Eight people were reportedly injured in the incident.

A man who witnessed the accident claims that he confronted the driver of the car and that he did not appear to be under the influence of alcohol. The witness says that the man was mumbling, “Thank you, Jesus.” Police say that the driver admitted to striking the pedestrians on purpose but did not tell them why.

In addition to speculating that the incident may have been the result of PTSD, the defendant’s mother also believes that some sort of car malfunction may have been a factor. Regardless of the claims made by law enforcement officials, the man is presumed innocent until sufficient evidence is provided to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A criminal defense attorney with experience with cases involving accusations of attempted murder can help the California man carefully examine the details of his case — including his mental state at the time if he was involved — and consider all potential responses to determine the most appropriate course of action.