Psychologist offers ‘red flags’ to look for in potential shooters

Dayton Mass Shooting

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Two communities are in grieving after a violent pair of attacks killed more than two dozen people.

Twenty-two people were left dead in El Paso after a gunman fired several rounds through a shopping plaza. And closer to home in Dayton, nine people lost their lives when a shooter opened fire in the Oregon District.

“This isn’t ok. Whether your pro-gun or anti-gun, it doesn’t make a difference. Shooting innocent people isn’t ok with any group,” psychologist Dr. David Lowenstein said.

Lowenstein believes this has to do with mental health.

“I think it’s an issue that’s not being addressed as much as it should,” Lowenstein said.

The gunman in El Paso, Texas was arrested, while the suspect involved in the shooting in Dayton was killed by police on the scene.

And Lowenstein said he thinks the gunmen were dealing with something internally.

“They didn’t wake up and decide this, this has been going on for a while more than likely,” Lowenstein said.

As a community, he said we need to be watchful of certain behaviors to get people the help they need before it goes too far.

“A lot of these people have mental health difficulties that we find out have been in existence for a long time and it got worse and worse,” Lowenstein said.

And he said there are red flags.

“If they’re removing themselves, hibernating in their rooms, collecting guns, what they’re talking about at dinner or anytime during the day,” Lowenstein said.

With these shootings fresh on everyone’s minds, Lowenstein said parents need to use it as a way to open up the door for communication.

“This is a reason to go up into our son’s or daughter’s bedrooms and say how are you doing and what do you think about all of this,” Lowenstein said.

He adds that this is the time to talk to your kids and be mindful of what they are watching.

And as a society, we need to lose the stigma associated with mental illness so more people will be willing to seek help.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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