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Report finds common themes in the backgrounds of individuals who conduct mass attacks


WASHINGTON (Circa) – A new report by the United States Secret Service Threat Assessment Center has identified common themes among mass shooters.

The report claims that between January and December of 2017 there have been 28 incidents of mass attacks that took place in 31 different sites throughout the country. Of those attacks, 46 percent took place at businesses, 32 percent happened in open public spaces and 14 percent at educational institutions.

The USS defines a mass attack as an incidents “during which three or more persons were harmed, were carried out in public places within the United States.”

29 locations shown as one incident took place in two states

Officials studied these events and found that regardless if the event was workplace violence, domestic violence, terrorism or a school shooting there were commonalities in the backgrounds of these attackers.

The report states:

  • “Nearly half were motivated by a personal grievance related to a workplace, domestic, or other issue.
  • Over half had histories of criminal charges, mental health symptoms, and/or illicit substance use or abuse.
  • All had at least one significant stressor within the last five years, and over half had indications of financial instability in that timeframe.
  • Over three-quarters made concerning communications and/or elicited concern from others prior to carry”

The report also said that all attackers were male and ranged in age from 15-year-old high school students to a 66-year-old retiree. Two- thirds of the attacks had experienced mental health symptoms before their attacks.

“All four attackers whose motive was influenced by their psychotic symptoms inflicted harm on random persons,” the report states.

Although only half of them had a history of drug use and or substance abuse.

Here's what the FBI can do when it gets a tip on a mass shooter

While the government report claims each attacker had a range of reasons serving as the motive behind the attack, personal grievances appeared to be the most common.

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