Thorson's attorney provides statement

Wednesday, February 27th 2008, 7:08 pm
By: News 9

By Kirsten McIntyre, NEWS 9

NEWS 9 learned the names of those killed on Tuesday, but did not release them until the families had been notified.

That has now been done and sadly, to go along with the names, we also have the pictures of those lost in this terrible tragedy.

"It is a fact, Tech. Sgt. Thorson was being seen by a mental health professional," Tinker Air Force Base Brigadier General Lori Robinson said.

Dustin Thorson, 35, spent about three months in Iraq in 2006. When he returned, his divorce attorney said he had problems adjusting.

"He saw the things you don't want to see," Thorson's attorney, Tate Wise said. "Those are the type of things that would definitely leave an impact on a person."

Thorson's attorney believes his client's time in Iraq may have played a role in this. On Monday, it's believed Thorson shot his 9-year-old daughter, Jourdain, and 4-year-old son, Dylan to death.

However, investigators are doing tests to make sure that's exactly what happened.

"That includes the gunshot residue test, both on clothing and the hands, not only the husband, but also the wife," Sheriff John Whetsel said.

Jourdain was a third-grader at Tinker Elementary. The school is now providing counselors to anyone needing help. A note was sent home with children explaining the tragedy.

"We sent that home to parents as well," Assistant Superintendent of Mid-Del Schools, Katherine Hughes said. "We felt the communication piece is essential in dealing with a situation like this."

Sgt. Thorson and his ex-wife had a history of domestic problems. Their divorce was final on Valentine's Day. Thorson's attorney says the shootings took him completely by surprise.

"Seemed to be looking forward to moving on, and spending time with his kids," Tate said. "I think that it appears to me that anything that would have happened would have been an impulse decision, of course I wasn't there or anything, but it would have been more of an impulse, than it would have been a long, premeditated act on his part."

When Sgt. Thorson was in Iraq, he was instrumental with helping to capture the number 10 most wanted terrorist. He received a number of honors for his work.

There are no funeral plans as of right now.

As to whether Tech. Sgt. Thorson will receive full military burial honors, Tinker says that decision has yet to be determined.

View an article written about Thorson in the Tinker Take Off, the official newspaper of Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center.