Orange County, CA – An escaped mental health patient obsessed with the Sandy Hook tragedy is back in custody after he fled an Orange County facility.
Authorities have confirmed that Norris Phuoc Nguyen returned to the Royale Health Care Center on Bristol Street at 4 pm Saturday. Nguyen had walked away from the facility, where he has been detained since December 2012, on Friday afternoon.
The 23-year-old told police interviewers he had visited a friend in his time away from the facility. Authorities say he does not appear to have committed any crimes during his absence from the mental health facility.
The escaped mental health patient, whose Sandy Hook obsession became apparent in interviews with him in December 2012, was questioned by cops, who discovered he was fixated on a teacher at a Garden Grove elementary school he had attended.
Anthony Bertagna, spokesman for the Santa Ana Police Department, declined to name the teacher or school. He told NBC News:
“We have statements and we have the firm belief that he is committed, unfortunately, to harming children at this specific school.”
After Nguyen made those comments, he was periodically detained at the Royale Health Care Center facility. Since the escaped mental health patient’s Sandy Hook obsession emerged in December 2012, his detention has become indefinite.
Nguyen, who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, came to the attention of authorities in August 2011, when he walked into the Westminster Police Department dressed in camouflage and holding an assault rifle, saying he wanted to “die by cop.”
The weapon used in that incident was not loaded, said Garden Grove Police Chief Kevin Raney.
Twenty-six people, including 20 children, died at Sandy Hook elementary school in a December 2012 shooting. Shooter Adam Lanza committed suicide at the scene as first responders arrived.