Violent Shootings: Are There Warning Signs?

July 20, 2012 -- Many people wonder whether or not a shooter may be noticed before he commits a violent act. That query likely resurfaced after a 24-year-old gunman allegedly opened fire throughout a screening of the Batman film The darkish Knight Rises, in Aurora, Colo. Twelve human beings died and dozens had been injured within the capturing.

Are there symptoms, symptoms, a profile? Can dad and mom safeguard their youngsters from these human beings -- or make certain their child is not growing into one?

WebMD grew to become to Jack Levin, PhD, the Irving and Betty Brudnick Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Northeastern university in Boston. He has written numerous books on violence, along with Serial Killers and Sadistic Murderers -- Up near and personal, and excessive Killing: expertise Serial and Mass homicide.

Is there a profile of those mass murderers?

"there is a profile, however right here is the problem with the profile," he says. "It applies not handiest to mass killers but to tens of millions of other people who've never hurt every person. so that you need to be careful in which you follow it."

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nevertheless, certain traits do point to the opportunity of being a mass murderer, Levin says.

"the first is chronic melancholy, over a long period of time," he says. "the second one is social isolation -- having no vicinity to show while you get into trouble. The 1/3 is blaming every person else in your issues."


individuals who blame only themselves, he says, are extra apt to devote suicide if they come to be very afflicted.

"there may be nearly always a catastrophic loss -- the lack of a process, relationship, money in the inventory market, being deeply in debt,'' Levin says.

Any particular caution symptoms in formative years?

"one of the warning symptoms is animal abuse," Levin says. "not simply any animal abuse. there may be all styles of animal abuse, [such as] taking pictures birds with BB guns, that doesn't suggest lots."

"there's one type that is very uncommon and seems to be a caution sign: inflicting ache and suffering on a canine or a cat, with personal contact -- stabbing, mutilation, suffocating."

"when you see this sadistic cruelty that is inflicted on a dog or a cat, mainly whilst it's miles repeated, you should take it very critically," Levin tells WebMD. "it's a rehearsal."

"often, for example, the killer or the crook will use the same method at the human being afterward that he used on animals as a infant," he says. "there may be a hyperlink between animal abuse and human violence."

"dad and mom need to peer it as a red flag. name someone. do something about it."

Is there a ''chance sector" for these troubles?

Pay special attention to the youngster and young adult years, 18 to 25, Levin says. those are frequently the instances while critical intellectual fitness issues emerge.

"We do not spend sufficient time to reflect onconsideration on how difficult it's miles for young adults to make the transition into adulthood," he says. "but this is the period of time when symptoms of schizophrenia broaden, whilst the fee of suicide is a whole lot better."

Did the Colorado taking pictures suspect's mother understand his plan?

in step with a few news reviews, the suspect's mother stated, "you have the right man or woman," after her son's arrest.

Levin speculates that she in all likelihood knew he become having problems.

"After the truth, she [allegedly] said, 'you have got the proper character' because she identified the opportunity that he should dedicate that hideous act," he says. "I do not think we should maintain it against her. it is unfathomable to assume anyone in our circle of relatives can kill a dozen people."

What else can parents do?

dad and mom should overcome any denial or reluctance to get involved if it is someone else's baby. "We must intervene whilst our youngsters are stricken lengthy before they become tough," he says.

"We have to interfere whilst we see a person, a infant or maybe an person, who's in trouble, who feels powerless, who's crying out for our assist. We must do it now not due to the fact we think he goes to homicide a person however due to the fact it is the proper issue to do."

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