Experts break down missed warning signs of the Parkland shooter

The gunman who killed 17 people in Parkland Wednesday had a strong social media presence, frequently posting about guns and violence. So were warning signs missed?

There are quite a few signs to look out for, such as showing no remorse, having an obsession with weapons or posting about violence on social media.

Weird, strange and troubled: three of the words many are using to describe the gunman, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz.

Authorities always tell students, if they see something, say something, and mental health experts say there’s a lot to look out for.

“Very often there are violent writings or drawings or postings either on computer or Facebook,” said Dr. Lauren Streyffeler, a local counselor.

Maureen Healy, a child development expert, is also familiar with the signs. She even wrote an article about the warning signs of a school shooter.

“To see a child who is mean and aggressive or violent without any sense of remorse or regret or sense of not wanting to do that again, that is the big problem…whether it’s on social media or in person,” she said.

Healy adds that there’s also typically a history of trauma and mental instability.

“That person had the loss of a mother recently, he was expelled from school, sort of had all these complex traumas without any tools or healthy support systems to help him through it,” Healy said.

Some other warning signs could be if the person has no meaningful friends or if they have a highly dysfunctional family.

Writer:Erica Brown
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