The Fame and Recognition Shooter

I want to start out by first apologizing for not posting last week, and for posting late this week. Between work commitments and summer work around my home, I just ran out of time. When this happens, I am not keeping new and relevant information flowing to you, my readers. For this I apologize.

Last week I described the five types of shooters that I have identified in my research. They are:

  • Terrorist shooter
  • PTSD Shooter
  • Domestic spillover shooter
  • Mental health shooter
  • Fame and recognition shooter

We have already discussed the attributes of the Domestic Spillover Shooter, so this week I will discuss the Fame and Recognition Shooter. The Fame and Recognition Shooter has motives of being recognized and becoming infamous. In most instances they want to be covered by the news, and they are often inspired by previous news reports about mass shooters.

The noted forensic psychologist James L. Knoll calls these mass killers pseudocommando’s.

The term “pseudocommando” was first used to describe the type of mass murderer who plans his actions “after long deliberation,” and who kills indiscriminately in public during the daytime. He comes prepared with a powerful arsenal of weapons and has no escape planned. He is sometimes described as having the intent to die in a “blaze of glory.” Since glory has been defined as “a state of great gratification or exaltation,” the clich to go out in a blaze of glory would seem to be a perverse turn of phrase, considering the unfathomable pain and tragedy these individuals cause. This article briefly explores what is known about the mindset of the pseudocommando mass murderer and how he transforms his desire for revenge into a perverse sense of honor, which allows him to justify his actions (Knoll, 2012, p. 1).

He goes on to explain:

The research on pseudocommandos suggests that they are driven by strong feelings of anger and resentment, in addition to having paranoid character traits. Dietz described these individuals as “collectors of injustice” who hold onto every perceived insult, amassing a pile of “evidence” that they have been grossly mistreated. To sustain the revenge “romance,” they must corral the unwanted, hated, or feared aspects of themselves. This collection is then re-assembled into the form of an “enemy” who “deserves” to be the target of a merciless, incendiary rage. Thus, the pseudocommando maintains object relations with others, which are heavily based on envy and splitting.

Mullen described the results of his detailed forensic evaluations of 5 pseudocommando mass murderers who were caught before they could kill themselves or be killed. Mullen noted that the massacres were often well planned out (ie, the offender did not suddenly “snap”): the offender arrived at the crime scene well-armed, often in camo or “warrior” gear. He appeared to be pursuing a highly personal agenda of “payback.” Mullen’s study also found a number of traits and historical factors that these individuals had in common: They were bullied or isolated as children and had become “loners” who felt despair over being socially excluded. They were also described as being resentful grudge holders who demonstrated obsessional or rigid traits…

… Narcissistic, grandiose traits were present, along with heavy use of externalization. They held a generally disparaging view of others, which resulted in spending a great deal of time ruminating on past humiliations. The ruminations evolved into fantasies of violent revenge, to the point that the offenders seemed to “welcome death,” even perceiving it as bringing them “fame” with an aura of power. Most of the literature references the pseudocommando’s motivation of revenge, which may be directed at a group (pseudocommunity) or representative ideology. (Knoll, 2012, p. 2)

Knoll (2012) has done a large amount of forensic research on past mass killers, and in my opinion, he hit the nail on the head! While he calls them pseudocommando’s and I call the Fame and Recognition, what he describes accurately identifies the same type of shooter, and the same motives that I have found.

The weapons usually used by Fame and Recognition Shooters is typically a firearm. They will usually bring a more than one gun, and an exorbitant amount of ammunition. Occasionally they will bring improvised explosive devices to cause more death, damage, and destruction. On the rare occasion, they will also bring knives, however it should be noted that this is a very rare occurrence.

The Fame and Recognition Shooter will have committed hundreds of hours of research about killing. They will research every detail, thought out every step of the plan, and they will usually have a manifesto. This manifesto will probably detail why the feel wronged, who their intended targets are, and a highly detailed blueprint about how they plan to carry out their heinous crime. They also do not usually plan an escape because they plan to die in a blaze of glory.

The age of the Fame and Recognition Shooter can be anywhere from 12 years old to 90 years old. It is important to note that the vast majority of them are 30 years old and under. Just because the majority of these individuals are under the age of 30 does not mean it that you should remember that they can be any age. If you suspect that someone is going down the Fame and Recognition Shooter path, do not hesitate to contact the FBI or law enforcement.

Next week, we will continue down the path of identifying the specific types of shooters and the common attributes they display. Until then, be safe and be vigilant!, … Mark

Please read this blog from beginning to end today because there is some very important information. There will be three things covered: a school shooting that was averted, my research on frequency of mass shootings, and the five types of mass shooters. The types of mass shooters will become five separate weeks of helping you to identify those that may be a threat to your church.

I am sure that most of you have heard by now that a school shooting was stopped before anyone was killed. Yesterday (5/16/2018), in the Dixon, IL, High School, shots rang out in a hallway near the gymnasium. Fortunately, nobody was shot except for the victim. Thanks to a quick acting School Resource Officer (SRO) who was near the gym at that time, this incident did not turn out tragically. Upon hearing the shots, the SRO rushed towards the shooter. According to reports, when the suspect saw the officer running towards him, he began to run away from the SRO. While running away, he turned and fired several shots at the officer. The officer returned fire and shot the suspect in the shoulder. Whether the intention was to shoot the suspect in the shoulder was on purpose or not is unknown, however it should be noted that no lives were lost at all. We thank God for this outcome, and please pray for this officer. Any time an officer has to shoot someone, it can be emotionally traumatic. He needs our prayers and God’s peace.

I also wanted to point out that I was off by a few days in predicting this shooting. The data showed that it should have happened late last week or early this week. I will be investigating why the data was off by these two days, as this may be important. Also, just for informational purposes, I will be investigating whether summer vacations at schools change the frequency of mass shootings. This research is all part of understanding the big picture when it comes to mass shootings.

Starting next week, I will be releasing some of my recent research on mass shooters through this blog. Some may wonder what this has to do with keeping churches safe, and I have an answer. By understanding who mass shooters are, and what their motivations are, we can begin to get a better insight into how to prevent mass shootings. My research has revealed five (5) distinct types of mass shooters. They are:

  • Terrorist shooters
  • PTSD shooters
  • Domestic spillover shooters
  • Mental health shooters
  • Fame and recognition shooters

Knowing what the motivation or underlying causes can help the church (and other organizations) understand what to look for. We can gain insight that someone may become a mass shooter based on specific characteristics of the suspect, or the difficulties they are facing in their life. While these are the five main categories, there can be overlap between two or more. The Venn Diagram below will help to understand the crossover.

Stay tuned to this blog for the next five weeks so that you can learn more. Until next week, stay safe and alert, … Mark

Planning for an active shooter.

Whether in a business, a house of worship, or even at a mall, planning is a critical part of making sure you prevent and/or survive an active shooter or bomber. Throughout this week, I will be sharing tips on how to create a plan specific to your needs.

While I have mentioned some items that may help protect you, it is important to realize that each house of worship (and business) is unique. Each has their own little idiosyncrasies that make them different from others like them. Because of this, it is important for planning to be done in-house, then reviewed by a professional. While you can have a professional do it all for you, it likely cost a lot of money, or they may miss something that is easy to see by those who use the building.

Before I go into explanations about planning at your house of worship, or your business, I think you should see the attached video about planning. Some of you have already seen this video, but it is worth another watch.

As we go through the week, I will try to help guide you through setting up layered security for your own church or business, as well as how to create the best plan for you. Until next time, I ask you to be aware of your surroundings and all that is going on, … Mark