Connor Betts had cocaine, alcohol and an antianxiety drug in his system when he opened fire on a crowded street in Dayton on Aug. 4, killing nine people, including his own sister. The police chief says Betts had a “history of obsession with violence.”
“Research increasingly tells us that our coverage of mass shootings has implications for public health,” said The Trace, a website covering gun issues. Meanwhile, President Trump promoted the views of Northeastern University criminologist James Alan Fox that there is no evidence of an “epidemic” of mass shootings.
A panel of experts convened by the National Council for Behavioral Health found that linking mental illness to incidents of mass violence is misleading, and offers only limited help in addressing the problem.
Shannon Watts of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America said that in more than half of U.S. mass shootings, an intimate partner or family member of the perpetrator was among the victims. “Most mass shootings are rooted in domestic violence,” she said.
The family of Patrick Crusius, the alleged gunman in El Paso’s mass shooting, worried he was a little lost, with few friends, but thought he wasn’t any more aimless than others his age. He spent eight hours a day on the internet, where he developed his anti-Hispanic views.