Mother mourns St. Peterburg shooting victim

St. Petersburg - Renae McConnell calls her son, Mackenzie Mitchell, a free spirit and wonder person.

McConnell and her husband, Gene, said they don't know the circumstances that led to their son's slaying.

But they and so many others are grieving the loss.

"We hope that everyone that knew and loved McKenzie will take the positive things from his life and from the things that he did and the good times and remember them and multiply them over and over to make this world a better place."

St. Petersburg police said Jason Faber shot and killed McConnell Saturday night and wounded two other men.

They said they caught Faber after a chase by ramming his car and stopping him as he reached for his gun.

According to police, Faber's wife told them he's a war veteran who suffers from post-dramatic stress disorder.

Dr.  Carol O'Brien, who specializes in treating PTSD at Bay Pines VA hospital in St. Petersburg, said we shouldn't rush to blame the condition in cases like this one.

"There is some irritability and anger that's often associated with PTSD, and clearly people who are irritable and angry can evidence more aggressive behavior. Violence is actually quite rare among people who have PTSD," said O'Brien.

Police said Faber thought Mackenzie and another man sitting in a car were dealing drugs at the house next door on Seventh Avenue North and that's what may have led to the shooting.

Others in the neighborhood told us Faber was defending himself. And they've had constant threats from people at the house.

Police confirmed they've investigated the home for drug activity before and arrested a man who left there with paraphernalia last month.

McConnell's parents admit their son had his troubles in the past. But they said they believe he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"It was a tragedy for everybody, and we just pray for everybody involved," said McConnell.

The other two victims are recovering from their injuries. They include a man who lives across the street who was grazed by a stray bullet as he sat on his couch.



"There is some irritability and anger that's often associated with PTSD, and clearly people who are irritable and angry can evidence more aggressive behavior. Violence is actually quite rare among people who have PTSD," said O'Brien.

Police say Faber thought Mackenzie and another man sitting in a car were dealing drugs at the house next door on 7th Avenue North, and that's what may have lead to the shooting.

Others in the neighborhood, who didn't want to go on camera, told us Faber was defending himself. And they've had constant threats from people at the house.

Police confirmed they've investigated the home for drug activity before and arrested a man who left there with paraphernalia just last month.

McConnell's parents admit their son had his troubles in the past. But they say they believe he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"it was a tragedy. it was a tragedy for everybody and we just pray for everybody involved," said McConnell.

The other two victims are recovering from their injuries, including a man who lives across the street who was grazed by a bullet as he sat on his couch.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments