The family of the man at the center of a Des Moines manhunt Tuesday has spoken out.
Ryan Collier is accused of threatening to open fire at Merrill Middle School. Police say he made the threats during an argument with his girlfriend at the school.
When the school was placed on lockdown, police say Collier ran. They caught him a little less than two hours later in the Waterbury neighborhood.
Channel 13 talked with Collier’s mother. Lori Jones says she’s sorry about Tuesday’s events. She says she can sympathize with the parents and children who were terrified by the incident because she was terrified too.
“What happened yesterday was, it still seems like a nightmare. It sounds like my son really unraveled yesterday,” Jones said.
Lori Jones says she doesn’t want to sound like she is making excuses for her son’s behavior. She says it was inexcusable. But she says, after a four year tour with the Marines her son was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Struggling to find a job has made him depressed.
“He was diagnosed with that disorder and I’ve seen my son`s highs and lows, his inability to sleep, the excruciating migraines that he has been going through as recently as this last weekend,” Jones said.
Jones says her granddaughter was one of the children who were locked down so she saw the terror in other parents’ eyes and in the eyes of their children when she went to pick up her granddaughter.
She also had to explain to the nine-year old that her father was the reason for the lock down.
Jones says she knows her son will likely have to serve time for what he did. She just hopes when he gets out he’ll get treatment for his depression and PTSD.