A new study by START („National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism“) compares characteristics of assassins (N= 83) and school attackers (N= 41) in the US (summary presentation here: START_LoneActorViolentOffenderComparisonAssassinSchoolAttacker_May2014):
- „Both assassins and school attackers were predominantly white males, and both groups of offenders were predominantly lone-actors (81% and 70%).
- Both showed high rates of mental health problems. Nearly half of assassins (44%) and more than half of school attackers (78%) had histories of depression, despair, or suicidal ideation.
- Otherwise, demographics of the two groups varied significantly. Assassins differed from school attackers in education, marriage, service in the military and history of substance abuse and arrest. Assassins (16-73 yrs.) also tended to be older than school attackers (11-21 yrs.).“
Results may …
- stress the importance of proper pre-incident-signal-searching;
- help to achieve a better understanding of the crucial role of media-coverage, after an attack has been carried out possibly to provide a tipping-point for an instable attacker to carry out his plans, ultimately;
- and call for an integrated critical-response-system that bridges mental health professionals and police in the future.
Find the full article here: 240-1638-1-PB.