Dayton shooter’s ex recalls ‘yellow’ flags — when is professional help needed?

Excerpt: Johnson is playing those old episodes back over in her mind, the yellow flags turning red, wondering whether she should have broken his confidence to tell someone — and if she had, whether it would have mattered. At a minimum, she regrets not telling his parents he needed serious help.

“It seems easy on the outside looking in, what calls to make,” Johnson said Tuesday.

“And looking back, I’m like, ‘Of course I should have done that.’ But in the moment it was complicated, it was weird and I cared about him. I didn’t want to hurt him.”

Besides, she said, reaching for a phrase favored by mental health professionals: “He didn’t have any concrete plans.”

Johnson’s lengthy essay posted not long after the massacre and her interviews with The Associated Press and others offer a rare, raw glimpse into the dilemma facing those close to people who voice such demons.


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