Roger Strecker has spent the last 30 years in law enforcement and studying human behavior.
As a threat assessor for the Department of Homeland Security, he delves into the minds and emotions of criminals. The former Honolulu Police officer has studied the country’s worst mass shootings dating back to 1949. Strecker says most the gunmen have common characteristics.
“These individuals were suffering from some level of mental illness and a significant crisis going on in their lives which would be a stress or trigger for them to cross over,” said Strecker.
The most recent violence has occurred in places considered to be safe havens like schools, shopping centers and movie theaters. Strecker says mass shooters tend to pick places where people would be most vulnerable and not able to defend themselves.
“A lot of these active shooters victimize people who are non-confrontational and innocent victims,” said Strecker.
With his plethora of knowledge, the behavioral expert spends his time teaching companies and schools on how to pick up on warning signs. He also helps them implement crisis management policies to avoid a tragedy.
“There are a lot of institutions now that are going in that direction, which is a very good thing in an attempt to mitigate future active shooter incidents,” Strecker.
For the general public, the best advice Strecker has is to be aware of our surroundings and watch for things out of the ordinary.
“The key aspect is that everyone should be facilitating situational awareness. If you observe someone exhibiting behaviors that you would deem to be outside the normal, trust your judgment,” said Strecker.