San Diego

Mass Shootings at Health Facilities Are Unusual, SDSU Expert Says

 Shootings at health facilities like the mass shooting at a San Bernardino County Regional Center are particularly unusual, an active shooter expert told NBC San Diego.

Brian Spitzber, Ph.D., an active shooter expert at San Diego State University, said only 2.5 percent of active shooter situations happen at health facilities like the Inland Regional Center.

“As a minority case, there’s not a lot of background history to know what’s driving this type of incident,” Spitzber said.

On Wednesday, an alleged gunmen opened fire in a social services facility east of Los Angeles that killed at least 14 people and left another 17 wounded—marking the deadliest mass shooting in the U.S. since Newtown in 2012, authorities said.

Mass shootings tend to be the result of two things, typically: someone who is looking for fame or someone who is issue-oriented, such as someone who has issues with access to care for example, Spitzber said.

He said at this time, it’s too early to tell what motivated Wednesday’s shooting and under what circumstances. Sometimes such explanations can only be found when law enforcement and other officials have the chance to look at the suspect’s background.

A man and a woman marked as suspects in the San Bernardino were killed in a shootout with police Wednesday afternoon. Spitzber explained the significance of the shooting suspects reportedly wearing tactical gear during the attack.

“Tactical gear would suggest some type of militia orientation or training, and when you get into those kinds of things, you’re talking issue-kinds of things,” he said.

Our society has begun to face an increase amount of active shooter situations, Spitzber said.

“We just live in a world that’s getting more complex,” he said. “That means people with different ideologies are coming into contact with one another more often.”

Spitzber said when clashing ideologies meet a widespread access to technology and firearms, people may find dramatic ways of acting.

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