- Associated Press - Friday, March 6, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) - The estranged wife of a man arrested in connection with shootings at five public places in Maryland, including a National Security Agency building, said Friday that she filed for divorce from her husband because of what she called his “crazy” behavior.

Hong Young, 35, had obvious mental health issues, would frequently talk to himself and would stay away for days at a time, said his wife, Bunnary Ngo (NO), who spoke with an Associated Press reporter in her native language, Khmer, from her home in Moreno Valley, California.

“He acted like he was crazy,” Ngo said. “He was talking to himself and sometimes he would stay outside the house for days.”

No attorney is listed for Young in online court records.

Young is charged with attempted murder and assault in the first shooting, which wounded a 61-year-old man near a mall on Feb. 24. Police say they’ve linked Young to the four other shootings through ballistics testing and other evidence. No charges have been filed against him yet for those.

No one was killed or seriously hurt in the shootings, which had central Maryland police on high alert for more than a week and evoked memories of two snipers who killed 10 people in 2002 in the Washington area.

Young was arrested Tuesday night when officers spotted his car parked in a vacant mall lot close to the site of the first shooting. Inside, police said they found shell casings and a handgun that was later linked to four of the shootings.

Police said Young admitted to being responsible and said he heard voices telling him to shoot at a random driver last week, according to charging documents released Thursday.

Ngo said she asked her husband repeatedly to go to a mental health doctor. “But he always said he was fine.”

She said she filed for divorce in California, but that Young either hadn’t received or signed the papers. Young had also filed for divorce in Maryland in September, but the petition was dismissed after Ngo wasn’t served.

Ngo said she and Young married in 2007, the same year she came to the U.S. She left Young and moved to California in late January.

“I have a new life,” she said. “It’s like I was born again.”

Young was a prison guard from January 2012 until he resigned in May 2014, according to the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

Department spokesman Mark Vernarelli said Friday that Young would have had to pass a number of background checks before being hired as a corrections officer, and that there was nothing remarkable in his employment file. The employment file didn’t list the reason Young resigned, Vernarelli said.

Young was being held without bond at a detention facility in Annapolis, Maryland. He has a court hearing next week.

___

Associated Press writers Matt Reed in Phoenix and Meredith Somers in Annapolis, Md. contributed to this report.

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