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.”
- 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
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick