Family of Capitol hill suspect blame football for mental illness

‘He’s not a terrorist’: Family of Capitol hill attack suspect Noah Green, 25, claim blows to his head during football may have triggered mental illness before he killed 18-year veteran cop

  • Relatives said the attack suspect had mental health problems and was paranoid
  • Suggested his mental illness may have stemmed from repeated head trauma 
  • He was described as a ‘model student athlete’ and played football for years 

The family of a former ‘model student athlete’ accused of killing a police officer outside the Capitol has claimed his mental health issues may have been caused by blows to the head sustained while playing football. 

Relatives described Noah Green, who was shot dead after the attack, as ‘not a terrorist by any means’ and said he suffered from ‘depression and potential mental illness’ which may have stemmed from repeated head trauma. 

The 25-year-old Nation of Islam follower, who played football for years, is understood to have been suffering from delusions, paranoia and hallucinations before he allegedly launched the ram raid on Friday.  

Green (right) played football at Christopher Newport University and in college, where he also ran track, according to an athletics bio 

Two Capitol police were injured on Friday after a car smashed into a barrier on Independence Avenue 

Police do not believe the incident was terror related, and have not yet produced a motive.

Green’s brother, Brendan, told the Washington Post that he was ‘violently ill’ the night before and texted him to say he would ‘go and live and be homeless’ before – in his final word – adding, ‘sorry’. 

Officials currently believe that Green was influenced by a combination of mental health issues and a connection with an ideological cause that provided a justification for violence.  

Green’s family told the Post that his mental health issues began after graduating college, saying that ‘he began to experience hardships among his peers’ that may have stemmed from repeated head trauma during his years playing football, including as a defensive back at Christopher Newport University.   

Green is said to have rammed his car into a barricade at the U.S. Capitol on Friday and then leapt out with a knife, killing one of the officers. He was shot dead at the scene by officers. 

Green was born in Fairlea, West Virginia – a poor, largely white, rural community of 1,700 people in the southeast of the state, close to the border with Virginia.

One of ten children, he grew up with seven sisters and two brothers.

By the time he was at high school, he had crossed into Virginia and was living 30 miles from Fairlea in Covington, Virginia.

He attended Alleghany High School where he played football and ran track, earning All-District, All-Conference, and team MVP honors in 2013.

He went to Glenville State College in West Virginia, before transferring to Christopher Newport University, in Newport News, Virginia.

‘Mr Green was a 2019 graduate of Christopher Newport University with a degree in finance. Mr. Green played on the Christopher Newport University football team in the fall 2017 and fall 2018 seasons,’ said Jim Hanchett, CNU chief communications officer.

Green was not known to police in Washington DC but he did have a record in another state, according to law enforcement sources.

His Facebook posts, which have since been taken down, showed a deeply disturbed man spiraling out of control – believing that he was the victim of federal ‘mind control’, having suicidal thoughts and manic episodes, traveling to Africa to seek solace, and finding comfort in religion and extremist ideology.

‘Satan’s rule over us is up,’ he said, in a Facebook post on March 17. 

A Facebook page belonging to a man matching the suspect’s name has now been taken down. It showed he was a fan of the leader of Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan

A tow truck removes the car used in the deadly attack from the scene as law enforcement collect evidence 

Green is shown being stretchered away from the scene after being shot by a police officer

He credited the controversial leader of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan, with saving him ‘after the terrible afflictions I have suffered presumably by the CIA and FBI, government agencies of the United States of America.’

On Instagram, he wrote: ‘I have suffered multiple home break ins, food poisonings, assaults, unauthorized operations in the hospital, mind control.’

Green believed that his troubles began in 2019, when, he thought, a former teammate and roommate drugged him with Xanax.

Those involved thought that Green had made the story up, and doubted his allegations. 

Green said the episode left him addicted to the drug, and left him with lasting mental health problems, which grew increasingly severe.

The night before the attack, he was violently ill, his brother Brendan told The Washington Post, without detailing exactly what happened. 

The pair shared an apartment in Virginia – Green having moved in two weeks ago, with his family deeply worried about his mental state.

Capitol police officer Billy Evans (left) was killed by a knife-wielding driver on Friday at the US Capitol. The suspect has been identified by NBC and the New York Post as Noah Green (right)

He texted Brendan on Thursday night and said: ‘I’m sorry but I’m just going to go and live and be homeless. 

‘Thank you for everything that you’ve done.

‘I looked up to you when I was a kid. You inspired me a lot.’

He had remained in the college town of Newport News on graduating, but the Xanax episode from 2019 haunted him.

He had hallucinations, heart palpitations, headaches and suicidal thoughts, Brendan told The Washington Post.

By January of this year, Green had suddenly abandoned his Newport News home and moved to Indianapolis, saying drugs had inspired him to go there.

From Indianapolis, he began to tell Brendan that people were breaking into his apartment.

In January he applied to legally change his name to Noah Zaeem Muhammad.

The hearing was due earlier this week, on March 30. He never showed up, and the case was dismissed.

The motive for Friday’s attack is not yet clear. Social media posts on now-removed accounts under Green’s name speak of fears the federal government was targeting him with ‘mind control’ and heap praise on Farrakhan for saving him

Facebook confirms it pulled Noah Green’s accounts

 Facebook has confirmed it pulled the social media accounts of Noah Green, the 25-year-old suspect who mowed down two Capitol cops, killing one, before being shot dead at the US Capitol. 

The social media giant said in a statement to CNN it had suspended Green’s accounts from Facebook and Instagram under its policy around dangerous individuals and organization, in the wake of Friday afternoon’s deadly attack. 

‘After this horrific event, our thoughts are with the Capitol Police and their loved ones,’ a spokesperson said. 

‘We have designated the incident under our Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy, which means we have removed the suspect’s accounts from Facebook and Instagram, and are removing any content that praises, supports, or represents the attack or the suspect.  

Green’s Facebook page, which was viewed by before its removal, described the 25-year-old Christopher Newport University graduate as a ‘Follower of Farrakhan’ and included several posts heaping praise on Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan for saving him.

Posts on Green’s Instagram page, seen by CNN, spoke of conspiracies that the FBI and CIA were poisoning him, subjecting him to unauthorized operations and targeting him with ‘mind control’.

In one post – just two hours before the attack – Green called the federal government the ‘#1 enemy of Black people’. 

Brendan, concerned about his brother’s state of mind, flew to Indianapolis to check on Noah.

He found that the apartment was secure, but that Noah’s ‘mind didn’t seem right’.

A couple of months ago, Brendan said, Noah moved to Botswana.

While in Africa, he told Brendan that ‘his mind was telling him to basically commit suicide.’

He told his brother he had jumped in front of a car, and was so badly injured he had surgery in a hospital, which left him with scars and bruises, Brendan saw.

Around two weeks ago Noah called Brendan crying, telling him he was ‘in a really bad situation and in really bad shape.’

He asked to move in with Brendan, and Brendan agreed.

On March 17, he posted an update to his friends and family on Facebook, telling them that he had been struggling and ‘haven’t had much to lean on the past few months’.

He said he was on a ‘spiritual journey’ after having a ‘tough’ past ‘few years’ and recently losing his job.

‘To be honest these past few years have been tough, and these past few months have been tougher,’ he said.

‘I have been tried with some of the biggest, unimaginable tests in my life.

‘I am currently now unemployed after I left my job partly due to afflictions, but ultimately, in search of a spiritual journey.’

Green graduated from Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia, in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in finance

A March 17 Facebook post said he was on a ‘spiritual journey’ after having a ‘tough’ past ‘few years’ and recently losing his job

The Facebook page also included links to videos of Farrakhan and posts about the Nation of Islam

Green said that religion had saved him.

He described Farrakhan as ‘Jesus, the Messiah’ and the ‘raiser of the dead to life, making the blind see, and the deaf hear.’

He continued: ‘I consider him my spiritual father. Without his guidance, his word, and his teachings that I’ve picked up on along the way, I would’ve been unable to continue.

‘Preaching to the multitudes, calling a million black men to Washington, and standing up to the most powerful government of modern times. He has done miraculous work not just with me, but with the lives of millions.’

In the post, Green also wrote that he had been ‘unknowingly’ taking a drug which he said had caused him to suffer ‘concerning symptoms’.

‘I was on the right track and everything I had planned was coming into existence. It required long hours, lots of studying, and exercise to keep me balanced while experiencing an array of concerning symptoms along the path (I believe to be side effects of drugs I was intaking unknowingly).

‘However, the path has been thwarted, as Allah (God) has chosen me for other things.’

Green signed off the message Brother Noah X.

Green’s Facebook page included this picture of a Nation of Islam certificate made out to ‘Noah X’ in Norfolk, Virginia 

The same day, he uploaded an image of a certificate to a Noah X that recognized a gift of $1,085 to the Nation of Islam.

The Facebook page also included links to videos of Farrakhan and posts about the Nation of Islam.

Less than two hours before Green drove a vehicle through the barriers at the Capitol killing a cop and being shot dead, CNN reported that he also posted a series of Instagram stories in which he called the US government the ‘#1 enemy of Black people’. 

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