Psychology professor: ‘Pay attention to red flags’ following deadly shooting

Florida shooting
At least 17 people were killed and 15 were wounded in a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. on Wednesday. (Photo by Getty Images)

By Patrick Baron

BLOOMINGTON – Following the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Fla. on Wednesday that left 17 students dead and 15 others injured, many are left wondering what can be done to lower the rate of mass shootings.

Being the 18th school shooting in the United States this year, Boston College psychology professor Joseph Tecce explained the shooter, Nikolas Cruz, had expressed anger and violent tendencies before he took action. Speaking with WJBC’s Scott Laughlin, Tecce said Cruz never dealt with his anger in a healthy way.

“He expressed anger at one level, but not at the meaningful level with a psychotherapist or a friend where he said ‘Yeah, this is really bothering me, this is really why I brought my gun to school,’ ” explained Teece.

Tecce also said the reasoning behind Cruz’s expulsion serves as a reminder to keep no stone unturned when someone is expressing anger in an unhealthy manner. Tecce explained schools and workplaces need to be willing to spend money to assess people who are expressing anger in such a dangerous way.

“Pay attention to the red flags and not count the dollars and cents,” Teece described. “If somebody is this vigorous in expressing anger, he should be assessed carefully. And let’s spend the money, because money is not as important as lives.”

Teece reasoned if people get assessed for having a headache, there’s no reason not to be assessed for expressing anger.

Patrick Baron can be reached at patrick.baron@cumulus.com.

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