Police spent 24 tense hours searching for a mental health patient obsessed with the Sandy Hook slayings and harming students of a particular teacher at a Garden Grove elementary school.
But Norris Phuoc Nguyen, 23, voluntarily returned Saturday to Royale Health Care Center in Santa Ana.
He told authorities he'd left the facility just before 5 p.m. Friday to visit a friend, and near as police can tell he did not commit any crimes while outside.
"During the 24 hours that Nguyen was unsupervised, local police agencies received numerous calls referencing possible sightings of Nguyen," reads a Garden Grove Police statement. "We want to thank the community for their efforts to try and locate Nguyen so that he may receive the treatment he requires."
Oh, yes, this fellow certainly needs professional help. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, he walked into the Westminster Police Department in August 2011 dressed in camouflage, holding an unloaded assault rifle and saying he wanted to "die by cop."
He has fixated on a teacher at a Garden Grove elementary school that he had attended, according to the city's police chief, Kevin Raney, who declined to name the school. In brushes with police as he's been in and out of institutions, Nguyen has proven to be obsessed by the massacre that left 26 dead at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school on Dec. 14, 2012, and spoken repeatedly about either protecting or endangering children, according to Raney.
Nguyen's mother, who lives in Huntington Beach, tried to gain custody of her son at a court hearing two weeks ago, but the judge refused to release the man.