Just who are the Shooters…

During a recent social media interaction, one of the participants responding to my post alluded to Active shooters belonging to one particular ethnic persuasion.  I responded that the truth of the matter was that they come from “nearly” every walk of life, ethnicity, gender, age, across socio-economic backgrounds as well as those who are highly educated. Below are brief examples representing a cross section of our society:

White male Adult:

August 26, 2018 Twenty-four year old visiting Jacksonville, Florida, for a tournament of the video football game when he opened fire at the competition venue, killing two people and injuring 10 with his weapon then turned his handgun on himself. 

Black male Adult:

On September 16, 2013, a lone gunman, fatally shot 12 people and injured three others in at the Washington Navy Yard.

Hispanic male Adult:

On July 2, 2009 a man distraught that his wife wanted a divorce is suspected in the shooting at a Simi Valley, California dental office that killed her and wounded four other employees with a .30-caliber assault weapon.

Asian male Adult:

On April 2, 2012, a gunman shot at people inside Oikos University, a Korean Christian college in Oakland, California. Within a few hours, the number of reported fatalities reached seven.

Asian Female Adult

Feb 7, 2015   A professor who taught anatomy and physiology and was highly regarded by both his students and fellow faculty members was shot and killed by his ex-wife in an apparent murder-suicide at the University of South Carolina.

White female Adult:

On January 30, 2006, a former US Postal Service employee shot and killed seven people at her former place of work at the Goleta postal facility before taking her own life.

Transgender Adult:

On April 3, 2018 one person shoots 3 before committing suicide at the YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, California.  The three victims who were shot survived the shooting.

Black female:

Feb 8, 2008 in BATON ROUGE, La. a 23-year-old woman killed two fellow students shot in their seats in the second-floor classroom at Louisiana Technical College with a .357 revolver then committed suicide. 

Native American female Adult:

On Feb 20, 2014 a woman killed four people and injuring two more. At least one of the injured was also attacked with a butcher knife after she ran out of ammunition.

White male elementary school students

On Aug 11, 1984 in Jonesboro, AR the younger of the two boys, asked to be excused from his class, pulled a fire alarm and then ran to join the older boy in a wooded area 100 yards away from the school’s gym. As the students streamed out of the building, the two boys (11 and 14) opened fire and killed four students and a teacher. Ten other children were wounded.

The two boys were caught soon afterward. In their possession were thirteen fully loaded firearms, including three semi-automatic rifles, and 200 rounds of ammunition. Their stolen van had a stockpile of supplies as well as a crossbow and several hunting knives. Jonesboro, AR.

White female High school student:

January 29, 1979, this teenager took a break from shooting people through her window to answer the phone. On the other end was a reporter from the San Diego Tribune asking why? “I don’t like Mondays,” she said. “This livens up the day.”  “I have to go now,”  “I shot a pig [a policeman], I think, and I want to shoot more.” By the end of her sniping assault, the 16-year-old girl had shot 11 people. Eight children and a police officer were injured, and two men (the school custodian and the principal) were killed.  The assault lasted 15 minutes, before a police officer and a security guard risked their lives to drive a garbage truck in front of the girl’s house, blocking her line of sight — and attack. After a nearly seven-hour SWAT negotiation, the girl left her house, surrendered, and was arrested.  Her lack of repentance. “It was a lot of fun seeing children shot,” she told law enforcement, she “liked to watch them squirm around after.”

White Female middle school student:

On March 8, 2001, a 14-year-old girl in a Catholic school in rural central Pennsylvania shot a 13-year-old classmate in the school cafeteria.  The shooter produced a .22 caliber pistol and fired once hitting a classmate. The girl was persuaded to surrender.

White male middle school student:

A student at Noblesville West Middle School, located about 27 miles north of Indianapolis, Indiana asked to be excused from class and then returned to the room armed with two handguns,  The teacher and student victims were shot in that room, adding that the situation was resolved quickly. The suspect, who wasn’t injured and wasn’t identified, was taken into custody.

 Hispanic middle school student:

On October 21, 2013, a 12-year-old student in seventh grade, opened fire with a semi-automatic handgun at the basketball courts of Sparks Middle School in Sparks, NV.  He injured a 12-year-old student, in the shoulder and shot and killed a math teacher who was trying to intervene.

Native American high school student:

On October 24, 2014 in Marysville, Washington a fifteen-year-old freshman student shot five other students at his high school fatally wounding four, before fatally shooting himself.

White male high school students:

Feb 14, 2018 a 19-year-old man (and former student of the school) gunned down students and staff at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida slaughtering at least 17 unsuspecting students and adults.

Financially privileged:

On May 23, 2014, in Isla Vista, California, a 22-year-old current student at that college killed six people and injured fourteen others near the campus of University of California, Santa Barbara, before killing himself.

On October 1, 2017, 59 people were killed and 527 injured in Las Vegas when a gunman opened fire on a music festival crowd from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, in what is now the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history.

Male and Female married couple:

On December 2, 2015, 14 people were killed and 22 others were seriously injured in a terrorist attack at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California. The perpetrators, a married couple targeted a San Bernardino County Department of Public Health training event and Christmas. After the shooting, the couple fled in a rented vehicle. Four hours later, police pursued their vehicle and killed them in a shootout.

College Professor:

At the University of Alabama in Huntsville, AL. three people were killed and three others wounded in a shooting on February 12, 2010. During the course of a routine meeting of the biology department attended by approximately 12 people, Biology professor stood up and began shooting.  The professor had been denied tenure at the university, making that spring her last semester there.

College Student:

On April 16, 2007, an undergraduate student at Virginia Tech shot 49 people killing 32 and wounding 17.   As police stormed his location, he shot himself with a pistol and died instantly.

Elderly adult male:

On June 10, 2010, the Washington, DC, Holocaust Museum was the scene where an eight-eight-year-old man approached the museum. A museum special police officer opened the door for him and the suspect raised a .22-caliber rifle and shot the officer. Two other special police officers stationed at that location returned fire, wounding the suspect.

If you are looking solely at the statistical data and analysis of past shooters attempting to anticipate the next shooter, do not discount someone simply based on past demographics. Doing so may give you an unpleasant surprise.  Danger comes in every color, ethnicity, gender, age, and socio-economic and educational background.   Stay safe and aware!

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