The horrific mass shooting at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater has left Americans paralyzed with shock and dismay.
The Director for the Center for the Study of Violence in Washington D.C. Alan Lipman joined 92.3 KTAR’s Karie and Chuck Friday to discuss certain indicators that could point to what caused shooting suspect James Holmes to commit this brutal act of random violence.
“In just about every one of these events there are two factors that are true, there is an underlying mental illness that has not been dealt with and there is some kind of triggering event that makes that illness more severe,” Lipman said.
Lipman isn’t absolving Holmes’ behavior due to a potential mental illness, but he does want people to be aware of warning signs so incidents like this can be prevented in the future.
“This does not excuse the event, but we want to understand this because if we don’t understand the factors that cause it, we will not prevent it.
“In this case, the age of 24, is the precise age at which a person tends to have what is called their first psychotic break — it means that they lose touch with reality. It’s the beginning of these psychotic illnesses like schizophrenia that cause a person to have very disordered beliefs, wild ideas, hallucinations and voices, preoccupations with things like violence,” Lipman said.
Holmes went into the movie theater armed with body armor, tear gas, smoking canisters and explosives. His apartment was also laced with chemicals and devices designed to cause harm. All of these signs point to a very unstable and troubled young man.
“What do we have here with Holmes, we have someone who was in school, for some reason had to leave almost immediately after he had begun, was preoccupied with ideas of violence, had an apartment that was filled with the most horrific forms of violent materials that one could have and then went into a movie theater armed as if he was going to battle,” Holmes said.
But after the shooting spree ended, Lipman said Holmes’ actions were very telling.
“What does he do at the end of it, after these random shooting that were not targeted, he gave himself up,” Lipman said. “Why did he give himself up? Because the delusional fantasy was over. The thing that he had been dreaming of and thinking of was done.”
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas