Secret Service report shows a look inside the minds of mass shooters

173 incidents were analyzed from 2016 to 2020

A new secret service report is giving us a look inside the minds of mass shooters.

Between 2016 to 2020, the Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center analyzed 173 incidents that resulted in three or more deaths or injuries and found while there’s no one kind of attacker, there are alarming warning signs.

10 News sat down with Lina Alathari, chief of the National Threat Assessment Center.

She says these studies are behind everything the Secret Service does.

“Our number one mission is to prevent a harmful or unwanted outcome, so we want to make sure we’re identifying, assessing, and mitigating any risks before anyone shows up to even attempt to test our physical security,” Alathari said.

The study found 75% of attackers used guns to carry out the attack.

While there’s no singular profile, there are concerning similarities.

“The attacker displaying threatening or aggressive behavior, history of violence, interest, excessive interest in previous incidences of violence,” Alathari said.

Alathari says the biggest red flag is when others are concerned.

Chris Ragone is the owner of Executive Security Concepts and specializes in threat assessment.

“We all hear about the see something say something, so that’s the first step,” Ragone said. “We have to make sure that we do that but what’s happening with a lot of it is that they see something, say something, but there’s no follow-up.”

He says this was the case in the Newport News school shooting that happened just a few weeks ago.

“That six-year-old that shot the teacher in Newport News, there were all kinds of people seeing things and saying things, but nothing was done,” he said.

Alathari says we need to be vigilant in working together.

“It’s not one person’s responsibility,” she said. “And it’s not one agency, it’s not just a law enforcement issue, it’s not just a mental health issue, it’s not just a workplace issue, we all have to be working together.”

There have been at least 39 mass shootings in 2023 so far, and Alathari says she hopes this report helps people notice the warning signs, and hopefully help prevent them in the future.


About the Author:

Abbie Coleman officially joined the WSLS 10 News team in January 2023.