Mass Shooting, Mass Murder and Killing Sprees 

A mass shooting or mass murder is shocking and fearful to say the least.  Such events cause a lot of speculation among society in an attempt to try to bring some sort of understanding of homicidal acts that are totally incomprehensible.  Victim and survivor stories bring heartbreak and compassion while analysis of motives leave more questions than answers. 

There are has been multiple events involving active shooters and mass murders in the United States over the last two decades.  Such events have prompted studies that may be useful to society and law enforcement in their effort to prevent such atrocities, as well as responding to and recovering from such events.

Cases of Mass Murder, Mass Shootings and Killing Sprees

Crimes that result in many fatalities or injuries naturally capture attention.  News accounts attract a lot of interest along with some unsettled reactions which can be disturbing as well.  It is tragic that such things happen in seemingly peaceful societies.

There have been several memorable cases of mass murder in the United States both recently and historically.  Different types of hysteria and panic come from each of them. 

Back in 1980s the Tylenol murders brought national attention which led to anti-tampering responses. The Oklahoma City Bombings brought realization that terrorism isn't just a foreign threat.  School events like the Columbine High School Massacre or the Sandy Hook School Shooting open unique concerns of about safety of children and teens along with the causes of such actions.  The 2015 San Bernardino Shooting brought some alarm about terrorism during the debates about the US taking Syrian refugees in the midst of the terrorist attacks in Paris.

Fear and compassion related to such atrocities is understandable.  The division that such events create in society is another concern.  

Categories of Multiple Killings

Mass shootings, mass murder and killing sprees have different definitions and are classified accordingly in studying the motives and causes of such aggression.  Some are committed by individuals while others include multiple perpetrators. 

Motives may include personality disorders and mental illness, terrorist acts, hate crimes, actions against real or perceived threats or injustice, and several more.  Recently, the term "injustice collectors" was used by Mary Ellen O'Toole, Ph.D. who served as a FBI senior profiler before her retirement.  This term came into existence during her studies of school shootings, and the theories are very interesting.    

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