Researchers connect mass shootings with domestic violence - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Researchers connect mass shootings with domestic violence

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Safe Nest CEO Liz Ortenburger discusses the link between mass shooters and domestic violence (FOX5). Safe Nest CEO Liz Ortenburger discusses the link between mass shooters and domestic violence (FOX5).

As the nation comes to grips with one mass shooting after another, researchers noticed a disturbing trend involving shooting suspects.

“I’m not surprised when I hear a mass shooting is by someone who has a history of domestic violence,” Safe Nest CEO Liz Ortenburger said. Ortenburger said Safe Nest provides counseling services for victims, batterers and their minor children.

A report based on FBI data shows that 54 percent of mass shootings between 2009 and 2016 were related to domestic or family violence. The same study found that in 42 percent of those cases, the shooter showed warning signs like threats of violence to themselves or others.

“Patterns we see for example if there’s a gun in the home and domestic violence is present, a victim is 500 times more likely to be murdered,” Ortenburger said.

With Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock, the L.A. times reported that he was verbally abusive to his girlfriend in public.

The wife of Pulse nigh club shooter Omar Mateen said he used to beat her. Meanwhile, police said James Hodgkinson, the man who shot Congressman Steve Scalise and four others, had a previous arrest for domestic battery.

“You see that as an underlying theme and it’s sort of playing itself out,” Ortenburger said.

Perpetrators of domestic violence are supposed to be legally barred from buying guns but in some cases suspects like Devin Kelley, the man who opened fire on a Texas congregation Sunday, are able to acquire a gun anyway.

Kelley was court-martialed and convicted in 2012 for beating his then-wife and fracturing his step-son’s skull. However, the Air Force never reported those details to the FBI, which would have put Kelley on the federal database for gun background checks.

Kelley also escaped from a mental health hospital while he was in the Air Force after making death threats against his superiors, according to a 2012 police report. 

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