FBI Releases New Active Shooter Report
This month, the Federal Bureau of Investigation released Phase II of a study intended to identify pre-attack behaviors of active shooters in the United States. The findings of this study confirmed many of the behaviors exhibited by active shooters and other violent attackers prior to committing violence en masse.
Key Learning Points
- 77% of shooters spent a week or longer planning and preparing for their attack.
- The majority of the shooters obtained their firearms legally. If you own firearms, make sure they’re secure.
- Only 25% of shooters had a diagnosed mental illness.
- Shooters typically experienced an average of 3.6 stressors in the year before they attacked.
- On average, shooters displayed 4 to 5 concerning behaviors (behaviors previously identified by the Secret Service).
- Students were the most likely (92%) to observe concerning behaviors of any reporting group. If you don’t already, make sure your school has an anonymous tip line to encourage reporting of suspicious behaviors. Anonymity can often mitigate the “Bystander Effect”.
High School Graduation Shooting Thwarted in New Jersey
On June 19th, administrators at New Egypt High School received information that a 19-year-old student made threats to “shoot up” the school’s graduation ceremony. School administration immediately notified local law enforcement, who arrested the would-be shooter and searched his home. No weapons were found, but upon further investigation, it was determined the would-be shooter attempted to obtain a firearm and made specific threats against the school via social media.
Key Learning Points
- The would-be shooter “leaked” or “vented” his intentions by recruiting a classmate to drive him to a local sporting goods store to purchase a firearm.
- The would-be shooter dyed his hair red to emulate the Marjory Stoneman-Douglas shooter.
- The would-be shooter posted several disturbing videos on Snapchat referencing specific threats to “shoot up” graduation and quoted verses from the Bible referencing the end of the world.
- Administrators immediately reported threats to local law enforcement and successfully prevented violence.
Department of Justice Releases Grant Funding for Active Shooter Prevention
Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice began accepting applications for grant funds attached to the STOP School Violence Act. The first federal school safety law created since the Parkland shooting, the STOP Act provides $75 million in 2018 and $100 million from 2019-2028 for schools to bolster security systems and train students, teachers and police to identify and prevent violence.
Funds will initially be distributed to local governments to be further dispersed to schools. These funds can help your school pay for training and prevention programs, like H.E.R.O. No matter what safety training you choose to provide, make sure it includes components that help your staff and students identify concerning behavior and prevent violence before it occurs.