GaryRissling wrote:I don't get it. Is this the first time a shooting like this has occurred at an elementary school? What could possibly motivate someone to kill innocent kids? As twisted as it is, I can somewhat fathom the the psychology involved in a high school shooting; but an elementary school??
There was a major shooting at a primary school in Dunblane, Scotland in the mid-90s. (somewhere in the low-teens casualties, iirc) When news of that incident broke, John Douglas - former FBI psych profiler and the main man behind the Behavioral Sciences Division of the FBI - happened to be doing a live TV interview with British TV to promote a new book. So they took the opportunity to ask him a little about what type of a person does this sort of thing.
He then went on - with nothing more than anecdotal reports from the scene, that could not even confirm the number of suspects at the time - to almost perfectly describe the perpetrator.
Among the things he would expect to learn about the shooter was the following: The man would be between late 30s and early 50s, more likely smack in the middle of that range. The man would be of above average intelligence but unemployed or underemployed, having a work history focused on labor, and the guns used in the crime would likely be legally owned and registered. He would be known to the administrators and perhaps the parents of the school children, having had some sort of involvement with these children in his past. There would also be a string of complaints about this man, dating back many months if not years, about possible inappropriate conduct with the children. There would be a history of correspondence form the man to school and community officials protesting his innocence of anything untoward, and generally railing at how unfairly he was being treated. These letters would have gradually escalated in tone and to whom the letters were addressed, the content generally focusing on his failures in life being directly attributable to the unfair accusations levied against him. He also stated that there will only be one shooter who will have taken care to plan for this assault, and he will have taken his own life at the scene, or forced the police to shoot him ('suicide by cop').
When the dust settled, police identified Thomas Watt Hamilton, 43, as the shooter. Mr. Hamilton was an out-of-work shopkeeper who had been a local leader of the Scout Association. He was forced out of this role after it became known that he twice forced young Scouts to sleep with him in his van on hiking trips to the country. He remit to work with the Scouts was revoked in 1974. He his shop closed up in 1993, he began a letter-writing campaign to start up a new boy's club with him at the helm. These letters went into great detail about the harm done to his good name by the SA all those years ago, and that his present failures were a direct result of that. He began writing to the Scouts Association, and when he was rebuffed, he sought out his local Member of Parliament. Hamilton eventually did set up an informal boy's club, and one MP's son actually attended..... and was quickly removed. Hamilton ended up writing to two MPs over the next few years, even confronting one on the MP's home doorstep. Ultimately, he wrote a letter pleading his case to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth.
Hamilton arrived at the school with four legally-owned handguns - two Browning HiPower 9mms and two Smith & Wesson Model 19 .357 revolvers - and immediately proceeded to cut the telephone lines with a pliers he brought with him. After shooting 31 people (killing 15) Hamilton turned one of the revolvers on himself and took his own life at the scene.
It will be interesting see what information is developed in Connecticut along these lines, and if it differs particulars, how those differences can be explained.