“We could never have seen this coming, they just snapped.”
These are the most common phrases we hear on the news in the days following active shooter incidents. Now we know that probably isn’t the case.
In 2014, The FBI released a first of its kind report. To give us a better understanding of the increase in public shootings, they analyzed the data of all active shooter incidents in the United States from 2000-2013. The resulting document revealed shocking statistics about the circumstances of the tragic events.
As a follow up to this groundbreaking report, Phase II was published in June 2018. This document takes the first release a step further by investigating the behaviors of those shooters in the months prior to committing their terrible crimes. These analyses are crucial for better understanding the violence that seems to grow worse with each passing year. What were their backgrounds like? What did they do in the months, weeks, days leading up to the attacks?
You can read the full document here, but these are the key takeaways that we found most interesting from the report:
- Out of all 63 subjects examined in Phase II, there was no uniformity based on demographics alone.
- A majority of the active shooters obtained their firearms legally.
- 77% of the active shooters spent a week or more planning the attack.
- Most of the subjects that displayed concerning behavior in the weeks leading up to the event. Nothing was done or communicated in response 54% of the time.
While this report gives us some insight on the actions of an active shooter, it is still extremely difficult to anticipate an attack. Being proactive is the best way to protect ourselves from possible threats. You can secure your organization and personnel by practicing hostile scenario procedures or installing gunshot detection systems in your infrastructure.
What do you think of these reports? Are there any findings that surprised you? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram to keep up with breaking news in security solutions.
And please, if someone you care about or know is displaying threatening behavior, say something. It could save their life and many others.