Developed by the ALERRT™ Center at Texas State University
What is an Active Shooter Event?
An active shooter event involves one or more persons engaged in killing or attempting to kill multiple people in an area occupied by multiple unrelated individuals.
Active shooter events continue to increase in their frequency. In some situations, it is clear that those who would conduct such a horrific act of violence against innocent unarmed victims seem to be learning from both the successes and the failures of their demented predecessors. We will attempt to identify the common traits of these murderers and what motivates them to one day wake up and commit mass murder.
There is no set profile of an active shooter. They come from all walks of society. Their motivations for committing such acts range from retribution for a perceived injustice, to a full-blown acts of terror, to achieving a social or political goal. Regardless of their motivation to commit mass murder, their mindsets appear to be similar in most events:
Deliberate: Most are deliberate in their actions. Although all wake up one morning and initiate their murderous rampage, most have been planning or fantasizing about the act for an extended period of time.
Focused: Once the decision has been made, they are focused on the task at hand Those who target a specific person or persons will move with great focus to murder their targets and anyone who may get in their way.
Detached: In many shooters' minds, they consider their targets as subhuman. They have dehumanized their victims in their own minds in order to accomplish their murderous rampages.
Bully: Although many who commit such acts claim to have been bullied themselves, once they take on the role of executioner, they become what they claim is the reason behind their actions.
Suicidal: Over half of the shooters commit suicide. Some appear to have taken their own lives once they murdered the target of their rage; while others appear to take actions to self-terminate once confronted by an equal or superior force.
The location of an active event varies from case to case; however, one thing is consistent: the number of victims as it relates to the shooters motivation. A shooter who commits workplace violence usually targets a specific person or group of persons to target. While a person who targets a large number of persons usually has a grievance against society as a whole.
Active Shooter Event Locations over the last decade:
40% in Businesses
29% in Schools
12% in Other Places