Signs may include:
- Making direct threats toward people or an organization
- Displaying an unusually angry or argumentative demeanor and easily agitated
- Shares an interest in previous attacks or acts of violence
- Minimizes the value of human life
- Makes vindictive or vengeful statements, such as “He will get what he deserves”
- Displays symptoms of chronic depression; lethargic, not engaged, loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities, loss of confidence, etc.
- Makes suicidal comments
- Has a known drug or alcohol addiction
- Fascination or obsession over weapons and dangerous items
- Is nervous, paranoid and always seems “on edge”
None of these items alone mean that a person is actively planning an attack or is dangerous. That being said, multiple warning signs can be an indicator that the individual may be unstable and intervention could be required to ensure the safety of all, including the person concerned.
Planning & Preparation
Most might believe that acts of violence in the workplace are random, hastily thought out and executed planning. This can sometimes be true; however, data shows that most assailants conduct extensive planning. The FBI published surprising statistics regarding assailant planning and preparation:
Planning: The act of making the decision to carry out an attack, justifying the motive, selecting targets and conducting research.
Preparing: The act of gaining materials (firearms, explosives, knives, etc.), dry runs, testing security vulnerabilities and finalizing personal affairs.