In looking back at recent mass shootings, in the majority of incidents, there are indicators, and one or more persons are informed prior to the violent incident occurring.
After the Sutherland Springs shooting , our team at Counter Threat Group, LLC was asked what the one most important step to take is in light of this violent event. Our response is for a church, school, hospital or any other organization to have a known mechanism in place to allow the anonymous reporting of information regarding suspicious behavior of individuals.
Anonymous reporting “intel” tools along with a central repository to collect this information are the best ways to head off potential violent incidents. This allows those that have the responsibility of monitoring behavioral issues the ability to connect dots if there are multiple occurrences of concerning behavior. The tools can include web-based forms, phone apps, reporting by text message, telephone hotlines or even a suggestion drop box. This may be the preferred method of reporting any concerns versus openly divulging names and actions.
We will soon learn extensively about the events yesterday at Italy High School in Texas and today in Benton, KY., and if they reveal warnings of the shooter’s intentions and if a system was in place to collect and act on this information.