An alleged schizophrenic serial killer living in Portland, Oregon, has been arrested in connection with a spate of deadly and seemingly random attacks.
Joseph Kelly Banks, 49, was living in a group home for adults diagnosed with serious mental illnesses when he allegedly committed a string of murders in the first three months of 2022. Banks is accused of carrying out two other non-fatal shootings and an additional attack during this time, the New York Post reported.
The alleged victims of Banks were three men who were found dead in or near their cars in Portland on either the first or second day of January, February, or March of this year. Banks is accused of shooting these men to death.
It appears that in February, Banks shot another man and a woman in a park and wounded a third person, authorities said.
The attacks and killings were linked together through forensic evidence and security footage, and it is believed that all of the victims were strangers to Banks.
On Monday, a grand jury charged Banks with 15 counts related to the violent spree. These include three counts of second-degree murder with a firearm.
Banks’ attorney entered a not guilty plea. The Daily Mail reported that Banks was arraigned on the new indictment on Tuesday
Banks is next due in court May 9.
In 2007, Banks was committed to a psychiatric facility for at least a decade after being found not guilty on a weapons charge on the basis of insanity.
At the time of this insanity plea, Banks was diagnosed with schizophrenia and antisocial personality disorder. Doctors warned that he posed a danger to other people.
In February 2021, Banks was released to a halfway house under federal supervision. At the time, psychiatrists said that he could be stabilized on a “regimen of psychotropic medication.”
Banks’ habit of allegedly violently killing people is apparently not uncommon in the city of Portland.
In late February, data from the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) showed that in the first two months of 2022, there were 234 shootings resulting in 64 injuries, and of the 19 recorded homicides, 18 were caused by gunfire, KOIN-TV reported.
Police Commissioner Mingus Mapps said, “The homicide rate is concerning in every way and is an absolute emergency. It is already having an impact on our economic recovery, including tourism. Frankly, the general state of our city isn’t compatible with tourism and that is a significant challenge.”
The Portland Police Bureau did not immediately respond to TheBlaze’s request for comment.