How the Pelosi attack suspect engulfed in online hate

“You were talking about politics, and he just wasn’t rational,” Mr. Ciccarelli said. “He just thought one side was lying and one side was telling the truth. It was very black and white. And he was just being reinforced.

Mr. Ciccarelli, who took Mr. DePape to Thanksgiving and Christmas meals and was the closest thing to family Mr. DePape had in recent years, suggested in an interview that Mr. DePape was tormented by his emotions .

“So he disassociated himself and he dealt with his feelings by basically playing computer games whenever he wasn’t working,” Mr Ciccarelli said. “He had no friends. He had no social life.

Back in British Columbia, Mr. DePape’s parents and old acquaintances tried to reconcile the news of the brutal attack on Mr. Pelosi with the person they once knew well.

Gene DePape, Mr. DePape’s stepfather, who for a time “raised him as my own” after he divorced Mr. DePape’s mother, described his stepson as kind and quiet, and as someone who has never been in trouble. But he said he grew concerned for his stepson when, as a teenager, David seemed to isolate himself more and more and became obsessed with video games.

Gene DePape said he tried for years to reconnect with his stepson, to no avail.

Mark DePape, David DePape’s uncle, said he hadn’t seen his nephew in over 20 years.

“He just decided one day: he was gone,” Mark DePape said.

A high school acquaintance, Loretta Court Brisco, described David DePape in a Facebook post as someone “not looking to stand out or stand out.” Another, Alisha Mills, said he was “impressionable” and “a bit of a follower”.


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