They say it was 1996 when he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia during a brief stay at a Montana mental hospital. He was released with the understanding that treatment was to continue at home.
"I said, 'Rusty, there's two things you're going to have to do when you come back'," said Weston's father, also named Russell. "'One thing: I don't want to have to listen to all that silly stuff you've been talking about. Number two is that you go over and get more medicine. What you do is keep on taking it.' But he wouldn't go get more medicine."
"He felt that when he didn't take his medicine ,that was reality, and when he did, evidently he felt that wasn't reality," said Weston's mother, Joey Weston.
Russell Weston's reality included fantasies that people and the government were out to get him. But his family says they never expected this.
"Out of 260 million people in the U.S., and it had to be our son," Weston's father said. "I just couldn't believe it."
Said Joey Weston: "We're so sorry for the people for the men that he shot and their families. There's just no words that can convey how bad we feel that he would do such a thing."
His parents plan to visit their son once they get permission. They say his future is finished, but they hope he will finally get the medical help that he couldn't get at home.