‘They want notoriety’: Experts debunk myths pertaining to mass shootings

VIDEO: Experts debunk myths pertaining to mass shootings
Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 4:57 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 17, 2023 at 6:20 PM CST
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - With ongoing mass shootings around the country, The Amarillo Police Department is keeping track of issues such as misconceptions about mass shootings to better protect the community.

We discussed common misunderstandings with West Texas A&M Criminal Justice Professor, Jeanette Arpero, and she tells us mass shooters do not want to go unnoticed.

“Most of them have prophesied what they wanted to do on their social medias or through another channel. Told family members, they’ve might have made threats to family members, and so there was a lot of red flags leading up to the event, they probably already told their friends what they were going to do,” says Arpero.

When asked what he would want the public to know about mass shootings, Amarillo Chief of Police, Martin Birkenfeld says this:

“There are horrible things that do occur, but the vast majority of shootings are individuals,” says Birkenfeld.

“With mass shootings, they always garner a lot more attention because again, these are public spaces where people have some type of expectancy of safety,” says Apero.

She goes onto say, mass shootings account for less than three percent of gun violence cases.

“Tens of thousands of people each year are shot in shootings that are one on one cases that are equally as tragic. If one person dies in a shooting, and that occurs 30 times in a particular week, that’s 30 lives that were lost in shooting. It wasn’t in one horrific incident, it was in 30 different horrific incidents,” says Birkenfeld

The Congressional Research Service defines mass shootings, as multiple, firearm, homicide incidents, involving 4 or more victims at one or more locations close to one another.

“Generally speaking with mass shooters, they definitely want to be known; they want to be seen. Some of them have manifestos,” says Arpero.

Mass shooters have the desire to be recognized and typically let people know they are about to commit an act of violence before hand. Arpero says there are almost always red flags.

“Part of the reason why the media slowly started to move away from broadcasting their name and picture everywhere because that’s what they want. They want to be seen they want to be heard. They want people repeating their names knowing who they are,” says Arpero

Arpero says someone knows something before a situation breaks out. This is because of the fact that mass shooters have the tendency to want notoriety.

“They either tell family members or they document it on their social media. Because again, you have to think about, these people want some type of acknowledgement, right? In the same way that someone doing something good would want some type of acknowledgement,” says Arpero.

Here at NewsChannel 10 we will continue our series on gun violence and continue to bring you the facts.