Capitol Attacker's Family Blames Football Injury for Mental Issues The American flag at the U.S. Capitol flies at half-staff in honor of Capitol Police officer William Evans who was killed after a man rammed a car into two officers at a barricade outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Friday, April 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
By Eric Mack | Monday, 05 April 2021 12:04 PM
The driver who struck and killed a Capitol Police officer Friday was suffering from depression and mental illness, perhaps from brain injuries related to football, the family claims.
The family of Noah Green, 25, issued a statement Saturday claiming he was "not a terrorist by any means," and suffered from "depression and potential mental illness," which might have been related to repeated brain injuries from playing football, according to a report in The Washington Post.
Previous to running his Nissan sedan into two Capitol Police officers, killing one and brandishing a knife before Green was fatally shot, Green was suffering from symptoms of mental illness the family believed were related to his football injuries as a defensive back at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia.
Green was working toward earning a masters in business administration, but he was struggling, the Post reported, and even told his brother in a text the night before the attack: "I'm sorry, but I'm just going to go and live and be homeless."
"Thank you for everything that you've done," the text continued, the brother told the Post. "I looked up to you when I was a kid. You inspired me a lot."
Capitol Police officer William Evans died and another officer was hospitalized after Green ran his car through a barricade and attacked them with a knife.
Green was a devoted Nation of Islam follower and a drug addict, suffering from hallucinations, heart palpitations, headaches, and suicidal thoughts, according to the report.
Green also had reportedly temporarily moved to Botswana, a southern African country and told his brother "his mind was telling him to basically commit suicide."
His brother told the Post that Green had needed surgery for an injury from jumping in front of a car.
The Post reported a March 17 Facebook post signed "Brother Noah X" read:
"I was on the right track and everything I had planned was coming into existence. It required long hours, lots of studying, and exercise to keep me balanced while experiencing an array of concerning symptoms along the path (I believe to be side effects of drugs I was intaking unknowingly). However, the path has been thwarted, as Allah (God) has chosen me for other things. Throughout life I have set goals, attained them, set higher ones, and then been required to sacrifice those things."
Tackle football has come under intense scrutiny in the past for some players' exposure to mild traumatic brain injuries. The NFL and colleges are studying the long-term impacts of the injuries and have found depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts can result from concussions and repeated blows to the head.