School Shooters: What's Their Path To Violence?
Support for this NPR podcast and the following message. Come from the UPS store, offering services from shredding to printing to mailbox ING and instead of closing this holiday. The UPS store is doing another ING altogether. Opening the UPS store every ING for small business. And of course, shipping there were twenty five school shootings last year. Thirty three children and adults died in those incidents more than sixty people were injured experts say to prevent these attacks. We need to understand what's behind the rage of school shooters NPR's retu- Chatterjee explains. What puts these kids on the path to violence, April. Twentieth. Nineteen ninety nine it felt like the beginning of a new and terrible era in America where parents feed the kids could go to school in the morning and never come home to students walked into Columbine high school in Littleton, Colorado and shot dead thirteen people and then killed themselves when sue clean bowled heard. About the shooting. She panicked and hoped her son was safe, then she learned that he was one of the shooters. I was completely confused. I didn't know what had happened or why I was trying to accept it. My son was dead that he was being held responsible for this terrible. Terrible tragedy. Clean bowled says after the incident his son Dylan was called many things. My son was called a monster. He was called evil. But that wasn't the boy she knew he was kind of end friendly and nice and gentle, Ben months after his death. She discovered a side of her son that he'd hidden from nearly everyone the police returned his journals to her there. I could clearly see here is a young man who was saying I am an agony. I want to get a gun. I want to kill myself. He was saying that when he was fifteen years old his writings revealed that he'd been depr-. Pressed and suicidal for almost two years before the shooting. Now, it's almost impossible to empathize with someone like that the brutality of their crime is unspeakable psychologists John Vangel gets that someone went out of their way to target and kill children who look like our children and teachers who like our teachers and did it for no other reason than to hurt them. And that's very personal van drill directs the safety and risk management program at Salem Kaisa public schools in Oregon, but he another psychologist do think about what it's like to be one of these kids because they want to figure out how to prevent the shootings and keep children safe. There's no official count of school shootings and extensive Washington Post database shows more than two hundred thirty incidents were gun was fired at k through twelve school since Columbine six of those were mass shootings. And here's what experts have learned about school shooters. Most have had one struggle after another. My assumption based on years of research into dozens of perpetrators is that there are significant psychological issues. Peter Langman is a psychologist in Allentown Pennsylvania, and the author of the book why kids kill inside the minds of school shooters. So whether or not they've ever been diagnosed whether or not they're severely mentally ill. You know, something is going on that could be addressed through some kind of treatment. But most never got treatment. Even though they had childhood traumas unstable homes. They felt like outcasts at school where they'd being bullied and many hit experienced severe losses. The defendant in the case of the shooting in partly Florida last year, his mother died the before the shooting his father died when he was a little boy John van drill says these struggles add up over time. They don't feel very good about themselves or where they're headed in their life. They may wish someone would kill them or they may wish that they could kill themselves. Most of the. These kids were in despair, many did kill themselves in their attacks. But most people were feeling suicidal. Don't attack us and most people with mental illness are not violent. So what makes a tiny percentage of kids become violent and homicidal van drill. And other experts think it's because these kids had been struggling alone and failing for a long time, and their despair had turned into anger. Read Malloy is a forensic psychologist and has consulted with the FBI. There's loss there's humiliation. There's anger in. Then there's blame blame a precursor to violence. These individuals had a history of collecting grievances and fantasizing about revenge and the fantasy is one in which the teenager begins to identify with other individuals that have become school shooters that have used violence as. A way to solve their problems and access to guns tons that fantasy into a reality. But psychologists say these attacks can be prevented there often weeks or months in the planning and John van drill says there are signs that someone struggling and heading towards violence. I've stopped being the kid the wind to boy scouts and church and loved his grandmother. And now I wanna be that kid with camouflage who's isolated and attacks people in hurts them, fourteen months before Columbine Dylan Klebold who was a gifted student started to get into trouble. He and his friend. Eric Harris got arrested after they broke into a van installed some equipment. His mother was concerned. She asked him did he need therapy. He said, no. And she never realized how deep the problem really was the piece that I think where I failed. The most is that we tend to underestimate the level of pain. That someone may be in. We all have a responsibility to stop and think someone we love may be in a crisis. The solution isn't to expel or suspend a student which is what happened to her son timing against I collagen educators, a found that what these kids need is support and help tomorrow on morning edition, what schools are doing to prevent trouble. Students from going down the pasta violence Ricciardi NPR news support for this podcast and the following message. Come from Comcast business having the nation's largest gig speed network was just the start. Now, they're providing gig fueled apps and solutions that exceed expectations and help businesses perform Comcast business beyond fast.