Parents Warned Cops About Pentagon Shooter Bedell had mental issues, maybe a gun By Newser Editors and Wire Services Posted Mar 5, 2010 6:09 PM CST 30 comments Comments This undated Nevada booking photo shows John Patrick Bedell. (AP Photo) (Newser) – The man who opened fire in front of the Pentagon last night had a history of mental illness and had become so erratic that his parents reached out to local authorities weeks ago with a warning that he was unstable and might have a gun, authorities said today. Bedell, 36, was diagnosed as bipolar, or manic depressive, and had been in and out of treatment programs for years. His psychiatrist said Bedell tried to self-medicate with marijuana, inadvertently making his symptoms more pronounced. His parents reported him missing Jan. 4, a day after a Texas Highway Patrol officer stopped him for speeding in Texarkana. Bedell told the highway patrolman he was heading to the East Coast, and began acting strangely—sitting on his knees by the side of the highway and turning off his cell phone when it would ring.