Learning From National Tragedies

By: Kristen Ross Email
By: Kristen Ross Email

National events such as the tragedy at Virginia Tech can sometimes spur more crimes and acts of violence.

"I think you talk to anybody in the law enforcement field and it's common sense, once a big event takes place, their tends to be more after that," said Bryan Assistant Police Chief Freddie Komar.

Officials say the idea behind it is, one person paves the way and makes it easier for somebody else to follow.

Tuesday afternoon media outlets received the final thoughts of the perpetrator and victim in Monday's First National Bank shooting

"It did remind me in some aspects of what happened at Virginia Tech, the shooter was controlling the message even after his death," said Bryan Assistant Police Chief Peter Scheets. "He was getting his information out to the public after the event occurred."

Scheets says Monday's shootout at First National was one of the first active shooter events the city has seen. However, because of events such as Columbine, Virginia Tech, and many others, local law enforcement knew how to respond.

"Lessons learned from that, caused us to revaluate training," said Scheets. "As a result when officers come to these types of events, they do have to establish a perimeter but they're also tasked with going in and immediately addressing the threat in order to minimize loss of life."

Psychologist Adam Saenz sifted through the letters and pages sent out to media and public figures, and says there are generally two reasons, those types of letters are left behind.
One being to alleviate the guilt of friends and family members.

The other,"to actually instill guilt and it's sort of an act of retribution," said Saenz. "In essence, make the surviving feel extremely guilty as an act of revenge."

Unfortunately, there's not much law enforcement can do to dissuade others from following in a gunman's fatal footsteps. However, what they can do, is learn from it.

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