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FBI Shooter Profile: Most Got Guns Legally, No Mental Illness Diagnosis

FBI Shooter Profile: Most Got Guns Legally, No Mental Illness Diagnosis

A general view of the makeshift memorial in front of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on March 14, 2018. (Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 21 June 2018 08:33 AM

A new FBI mass shooter profile in a report released Wednesday revealed that most suspects obtained their weapons legally and did not have a mental illness diagnosis, USA Today reported.

The information comes at the time when the agency tracked the highest number of mass shooting incidents — 30 in 2017 — since it began keeping up with the phenomenon, the newspaper reported.

The key findings in the FBI study, which looked at statistics from 2000 to 2013, revealed that active shooters often take time planning their attacks, with 77 percent taking a week or longer and 46 percent taking more than a week preparing, such has purchasing weapons and other items used in such incidents.

The report said that the majority of shooters purchased firearms legally and that only 25 percent had been diagnosed with a mental illness. The FBI said shooters typically experience three to five "stressors" in the year before the attack that were observed by others around the shooter.

The FBI wrote that the most common stressors concerned behaviors related to the active shooter's mental health, problematic interpersonal interactions, and revealing or someone learning of his or her violent intent.

The agency wrote that for active shooters under 18, school peers and teachers were more likely to see these behaviors than family members. For active shooters older than 18, spouses/domestic partners were the most likely to observe the behaviors.

The FBI said people connected with the active shooter communicated with him or her directly after observing "concerning" behaviors 83 percent of the time. Law enforcement was called in only 41 percent of the cases.

"… The active shooter's primary grievance could be identified, the most common grievances were related to an adverse interpersonal or employment action against the shooter (49 percent)," the FBI study said. "In the majority of cases (64 percent) at least one of the victims was specifically targeted by the active shooter."

The FBI said that in light of its findings, a formal diagnosis of mental illness "is not a very specific predictor of violence of any type, let alone targeted violence."

"In the weeks and months before an attack, many active shooters engage in behaviors that may signal impending violence," the FBI report said. "While some of these behaviors are intentionally concealed, others are observable and — if recognized and reported — may lead to a disruption prior to an attack. Unfortunately, well-meaning bystanders (often friends and family members of the active shooter) may struggle to appropriately categorize the observed behavior as malevolent.

"… By articulating the concrete, observable pre-attack behaviors of many active shooters, the FBI hopes to make these warning signs more visible and easily identifiable. This information is intended to be used not only by law enforcement officials, mental health care practitioners, and threat assessment professionals, but also by parents, friends, teachers, employers and anyone who suspects that a person is moving towards violence," the report continued.

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A new FBI mass shooter profile in a report released Wednesday revealed that most suspects obtained their weapons legally and did not have a mental illness diagnosis.
fbi, shooter, profile, guns, mental health
486
2018-33-21
Thursday, 21 June 2018 08:33 AM
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