Injuries, Wound and Trauma

What characteristics are common among school shooters?

A Answers (1)

  • AMichele Borba, Psychology, answered
    The U.S. Secret Service conducted one of the most thorough studies of school shooters over the past decades to try and create a "profile." That study uncovered certain commonalities of shooters. Though these characteristics do not predict a shooter, student school shooters are more likely to be:
    • Male
    • Caucasian
    • Withdrawn (pulls back from school activities)
    • Isolated or rejected from peers
    • Living in a rural community
    • Have easy access to weapons
    • Bullied repeatedly from a young age (there is a point when the bullied child flips roles and becomes the bully)
    • From a troubled home
    Several school students were also mentally disturbed. In addition, there are warning signs of a child who may become violent (to himself or others). Michael G. Conner, Psy.D. and Medical Psychologist offers a few other signs to watch for:
    • Feelings and behavior are easily influenced by peers;
    • Victimized or treated badly by peers;
    • Alcohol or other drug use;
    • Dwells on experiences of rejection, on injustices or unrealistic fears;
    • Reacts to disappointments, criticisms or teasing with extreme and intense anger, blame or a desire for revenge;
    • Increasing anger, aggression, and destructive behavior;
    • Associates with children known to be involved with morbid, destructive or violent behavior or fantasy;
    • Preoccupation or interest in destructive or violent behavior;
    • Has been cruel or violent towards pets or other animals;
    • Fascinated interest or an obsession with weapons or potential weapons;
    • Depicts violent or destructive behaviors in artistic or other creative expressions.
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