Troy Skinner was on anti-psychotic medication for a major depressive order but had stopped taking the drug before he tried to break into a US home, his friends say.
The 25-year-old was shot by the mother of a 14-year-old girl he'd been talking to online on Friday, when he turned up to their Virginia home uninvited with duct tape, pepper spray and a knife.
Skinner remains in hospital and has been charged with breaking and entering with a deadly weapon, with the intent to rape, rob or murder. The maximum penalty for the charge is life in jail.
"He is being held without bond and he won't have a bond hearing until he is released from the hospital," the Goochland County Sheriff James Agnew said.
Friends of Skinner have told the Herald that Skinner had been taking Quetapel, an anti-psychotic used to treat schizophrenia, bi-polar, major depressive disorder or as a sleeping aid.
Friends say Skinner had stopped taking the drug because it had made him feel like the "walking dead".
A friend is said to have found a pill on a table in Skinner's room recently and identified it as Quetapel.
Yesterday, it was revealed that Skinner had applied for a bridging course at the University of Auckland and wanted to study law.
James Stirling told the Herald Skinner's attempted home invasion was "such a bizarre thing to have happened".
He said he knew about Skinner's US trip but not about the girl.
"It was slightly short notice but not too out of the ordinary. He talked about spending some time with friends in Portland, Oregon and yeah just hiking, that kind of thing," he said.
"If he had mentioned it to anyone we would've told him how absurd it was and it would've ended there."
Stirling said he'd known Skinner since he was 12 years old.
"He's never come off as creepy or anything like that."
He said Skinner, an avid video gamer, had until now led a pretty normal life.
"He had some friends he enjoyed spending time with. Socially he was more or less normal."
Stirling said he was supposed to be starting his bridging course at the University of Auckland soon.
A spokesperson at the University of Auckland confirmed Skinner had applied for the course, which was due to start in two weeks.