All to often, we hear about what an active shooter was doing before they committed their crime. Houses of worship often see these signs, but yet they are oblivious to them. It’s time to quit missing these signs, and start paying more attention to what is going on in their lives. Sometimes domestic problems spill over into the sanctuary, and even if the congregation is not shot up, at least one person dies. I remember several over the years about instances where a husband and wife were splitting up, or having marital difficulties, and it turned into a church shooting. In one instances,I can remember the wife went to church, and the husband showed up at church and shot their spouse. In most instances, the shooter commits suicide, but not always. The only reason I am mentioning this is so you have a reminder that it is not always about the entire congregation. Sometimes it is about a domestic issue at home, and it spills over into the church.
As I did on Thursday, I am sharing some more information from handouts that I provide when I teach Surviving and Preventing Active Shooters and Bombers in Houses of Worship. For the safety of yourself and all those in your house of worship, PLEASE think about these signs and think about anyone that might be having these issues.
Signs that should Indicate an Increased Awareness
Past active shooters had common attributes. For these attributes to be included in this list, it had to be present in at least 25% of the active shooters life history. While these signs may not indicate they will become an active shooter, they should cause individuals that may become victims to have a raised awareness.
- Hostility or conflicts at work or home
- Financial difficulties
- Legal problems
- Domestic problems
- Currently using drugs or alcohol
- Poor job performance evaluation
- History of violence against others
- History of being abused or neglected
- Disciplinary action or job termination
- Involuntary job changes – different roles, responsibilities or work groups
- May exhibit recent signs of mental illness with outbursts
These are similar to the first list that I published, but still a little different. If there are indications on the first list and the second list, then you should have substantial heightened awareness around these individuals.
Later in the week, I will release a blog that will tell you how to identify when the police should be called before the potential active shooter can ever harm someone in your church. Be on the watch for that blog post, … Mark