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Expert says it's 'unlikely' PTSD led to double homicide in Killeen

Posted at 4:09 PM, Mar 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-17 17:09:58-04

New details surfacing about Kendrick Gaines, the man accused of killing 11-year-old Makayla Martin and 6-year-old Alyssa Whitfield, last weekend.

According to the Army Human Resource Command, Gaines served for two decades in the army and did heavy combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some are now wondering if PTSD played a factor into the tragic incident.

“To blame PTSD for an act of homicide is a leap,” said Texas A&M University Central Texas Professor and Combat Veteran Jeff Yarvis.

Yarvis works to help soldiers with PTSD.

He said while it’s possible PTSD played a role in the domestic violence situation; it is not likely.

“Most people with mental illnesses even severe psychosis do not hurt people. Even when they’re violent and out of control, they’re more of a danger to themselves than other people,” said Yarvis.

Gaines service record does not show any violent incidents during his military career. The record indicates Gaines completed his last combat tour in 2011.

“If he went this long without an episode there’s probably more to the story, history or some significant event that changed him,” said Yarvis

Yarvis experienced PTSD himself but was never violent. He said it is important for veterans and those close to them to know the signs of PTSD and seek treatment.

“We have a current conflict overseas and that would bring up some of these feelings it will be good just for committee members just to check in with a veteran and say hey with everything going on with the world are you doing all right.

Yarvis said drug abuse, relationship history, and several other factors can all lead to the tragedy.

Killeen police say they cannot verify if Gaines suffers from PTSD, because the investigation is still ongoing.