MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – The brother of the man accused of threatening to shoot Mount Pleasant preschool students says he suffers from several mental illnesses.
Wednesday, Michael Gorlitsky was arrested and charged with disturbing a school after Mount Pleasant police say he was wandering around Carolina Park Academy and said “It’s not like I’m gonna shoot a bunch of kids, I just might.”
The moment Michael’s older brother, Adam Gorlitsky saw that his little brother made headlines, he helped share his brother’s story on Facebook.
“He’s my brother, for better or for worse,” Adam said. “We were always very close growing up and we still are.
Adam told News 2 his younger brother, Michael, suffers from several mental illnesses.
“One day he’s Aspergers, one day he’s bipolar one day he’s schizophrenic,” Adam said.
Adam said Michael has battled with mental illnesses for more than a decade. He believes Wednesday he suffered from an episode while at Carolina Park Academy.
“What he did is inexcusable,” Adam said. “At face value he looks the part of being this monster person, but if people got to know him and talk to him he’s really anything but.”
For the past three years, Adam said Michael has been vocal about growing up and being self sufficient.
“I remember last month he came to my house and was just distraught about trying to become self sufficient,” Adam said. “I called my mom and said mom I really think he is ready to grow up.”
However, Wednesday, Michael landed himself in jail. It’s a challenge Adam believes will help turn Michael’s life around.
“It many ways it’s a blessing in disguise,” he said. “With all these news stories I can say look what you are doing is negatively affecting people like there’s actual proof.”
Adam said he thinks jail is what’s best for him at the moment and believes he should stay in there some time. To Adam’s knowledge, he says Michael never threatened to hurt the family or others, just himself. He also mentioned that Michael has had access to a gun before. According to Adam, Michael was able to buy a gun more than five years ago. Adam said Michael bought it for self defense purposes. When the family learned he bought a gun, Adam said they quickly took it away. According to Adam, after Michael was arrested Wednesday, local police and the FBI came to his house to search for weapons, and did not find any. He said this was not only a wake up call for Michael, but also for the Gorlitsky family.
“We are going to dig in as a family,” he said. “We are going to be better, we are going to do our part to get him the help he needs and honestly with all the news stories and everything it’s actually helping us help him better.”
Adam battles with his own challenge. 13 years ago a car accident left him paralyzed from the waist down.
“I have this robotic exoskeleton that allows me to stand up and walk,” Adam said. “I tell people when I’m standing and walking I don’t feel disabled I feel re-enabled.”
Adam is now using his story and the organization he founded, I Got Legs, to empower his brother.
“My form of empowerment comes from a robotic exoskeleton,” Adam said. “It allows me to stand up and walk. Through this process I hope we can help Mikey find his legs.”
For more information on Adam’s I Got legs organization, click here.