Red Flags – Warning Signs Missed Again

June 2, 2022

On May 14, 2022, Payton Gendon opened fire in a predominantly black neighborhood killing ten people. Gendon, a white man, had a history of making threats.

Law enforcement investigated Gendon when he made threats at Susquehanna High School in Conklin, New York. Unfortunately, law enforcement discounted Gendon as a threat to himself or others, and his name and personal data was not entered into the “red flag” database that would have denied him from purchasing weapons.

Gendon compiled a 180-page manifesto and published it on social media detailing his intentions to kill as many black people as possible. In the manifesto, Gendon revealed that he had surveilled Tops Market in Buffalo and drew a map of the interior of the building.

On May 15, 2022, David Chou, a person of Chinese descent, entered a church in Laguna Woods and killed a parishioner. Chou sent a seven-volume diary to a newspaper describing himself as a “destroying angel.” His diary described his hatred for Taiwanese people and that he intended to kill as many Taiwanese as possible.

These two tirades follow other targeted violence episodes. The shooter telegraphs their intentions either directly through oral threats, or social media.

Perpetrators of targeted violence display the following behaviors:
·     Threat Posturing – making veiled or direct threats, The more specific the threats are made, the more dangerous the person becomes.
·     Preparatory Behaviors – perpetrator engages in stalking, surveillance, purchasing weapons.
·     Rehearsal Fantasies – perpetrator plots and plans the attack in their mind and “leaks” their intentions.

In every targeted violent event except for the Las Vegas mass shooting on October 1, 2017, the perpetrator produces “red flags”, that telegraph their intentions.

Talon trains HR and company executives in detecting behaviors that indicate a person has intentions of acting out and becoming an active threat. Additionally, Talon trains people on how to respond to an active shooting response.

For more information on how to engage our professional training services please call our office at 714-434-7476 for an appointment.

Ron Williams, CFS
United States Secret Service-Retired
Talon Companies

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