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Local researchers release largest study on mass shootings

Updated: November 19, 2019 06:39 PM

Local researchers at Hamline University released what they’re calling the most comprehensive database of mass shootings.

The study, called The Violence Project, examined a half-century worth of mass shootings across the country. It’s the single largest study of mass shootings the United States government has funded.

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The project looked at everything from the mental health of the shooters to how they obtained the gun and their motives.
Researchers tried to build a profile of every shooter to understand common traits. They found that most had a history of childhood trauma, a personal crisis or grievance and had some type of roadmap that validates their feelings.

“The vast majority of people go into this with no escape plan. They plan that this is their final act. They’re either going to kill themselves in the act or they’re going to be killed, or they’re going to spend the rest of their lives in prison,” said Dr. Jillian Peterson, one of the Hamline University professors leading the study.

Peterson’s team looked closely at the mental health of the shooters and found that about 80% of them showed signs of a crisis leading up to the event.

She believes that’s where a red flag law, which gives police the authority to temporarily remove weapons, could be beneficial. 
5 INVESTIGATES surveyed police chiefs and county sheriffs around the state about the proposed law here in Minnesota.

For more information about the violence project, click the link here

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Ryan Raiche

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