A Navy "Top Gun" pilot behind a New Year's Day murder-suicide in Coronado, Calif., left behind disturbing commentary about himself on social network sites, including a post that read "I unintentionally screw people over on a regular basis," a San Diego television station reported.
Police say John Robert Reeves, 25, shot three people and himself inside a condominium after an evening out at a nightclub with the group. Fellow Navy pilot David Reis, 25, was killed by a gunshot wound to the torso, and his 24-year-old sister, Karen, was shot in the head and chest, officials said. Matthew Saturley, 31, of suburban Chula Vista, was shot multiple times. Reeves and David Reis were at the top rung of training in the Navy's elite "Top Gun" program.
Friends spoke out on behalf of Reeves on Saturday, describing him as a focused and reasonable young man.
"This is all very, very bizarre," Josh Buck of Port Republic, Md., told NBCSanDiego.com. "This is so uncharacteristic ... it is hard to believe what everyone is saying."
Another friend, Shane Cameron, also of Maryland, said his last converation with Reeves was upbeat and optimistic.
"I was asking him how his training was going and he seemed to be happy and loving it," Cameron told the NBC News affiliate.
The men said Reeves was looking forward to his future.
But news reports about Reeves's online postings in several discussion groups painted a different picture.
According to 10news.com, Reeves's posts included:
"I might come across as a nice guy, but I unintentionally screw people over on a regular basis."
"I'm brutally honest."
"Whenever I try to do something nice to help people out, it goes horribly wrong, and everyone would have been better off if I just kept to myself."
Clinical psychologist Dr. Michael Mantell told 10news.com that Reeves' posts, some of which used profanity to describe himself, raised disturbing questions about his mental health and whether he thought of himself as a loser. "Other people are writing to him, saying, 'Doesn't the Navy have psychological screening?'" Mantell noted.
Investigators say they may never know what motivated Reeves to open fire on the gathering inside the condo he shared with Reis and another pilot who was not present. They say jealousy may have placed a role.
"We only know it's tragic," San Diego County Sheriff's Department Captain Duncan Fraser told Reuters earlier in the week.
Reeves, of Prince Frederick, Md., was commissioned in the Navy through the Penn State University Reserve Officer Training Corps in 2008. He was a F/A-18 pilot assigned to the Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101 based out of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.
He had been awarded the National Defense Service Medal, a standard commendation given upon completion of basic training.
This post includes reporting from NBCSanDieog.com, Reuters and msnbc.com's Sevil Omer.
More content from msnbc.com and NBC News:
- Romney unruffled as rivals scrap
- Skipper chosen for starship mission
- Stealth virus raids your bank account
- Diver's treasure: 1923 class ring, grateful family