Question: What factors are associated with a mass shooting perpetrator’s decision to communicate their intent to do harm?
Findings: This cross-sectional study of 170 perpetrators found that nearly half leaked their plans, with 44.3% of them leaking specific plans about a mass shooting. Leakage was associated with receiving counseling and suicidality, which suggests it may be best characterized as a cry for help from perpetrators prior to their act.
Meaning: These findings suggest that leakage is a critical moment for mental health intervention to prevent gun violence.
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Citation: Peterson J, Erickson G, Knapp K, Densley J. Communication of Intent to Do Harm Preceding Mass Public Shootings in the United States, 1966 to 2019. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(11):e2133073. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.33073