Katherine Schweit headed up the FBI’s active shooter program where she authored the bureau’s landmark research about mass shootings and how to best respond to save lives.
In the wake of the massacre of children and their teachers in Uvalde, Texas, school safety weighs heavily on the minds of teachers and students’ families.
In this episode of True Crime Reporter®, investigative reporter Robert Riggs and Schweit discuss why the number of mass shootings is spiking to the point that some parents are afraid to send their children to school.
Riggs is no stranger to this tragic subject.
In October of 1991, he covered the mass shooting at a crowded Luby’s Cafeteria in Kileen, Texas.
A lone gunman crashed his pickup truck through the front door of the restaurant. He proceeded to murder 23 people with two semi-automatic pistols before killing himself when confronted by police.
It was the mother of all mass killings in America, marking the start of an epidemic.
Riggs covered so many “critical incidents” in his reporting career that he was asked to serve on a study panel hosted by the Critical Incident Analysis Group at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in 2000. The public university was founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819.
The panel was assembled to study Threats To Symbols Of American Democracy.
It included the FBI case agent for the Columbine shootings and its high school principal.
The report prophetically predicted the future targets of the 9-11 hijackers. Unfortunately, the report apparently fell on deaf ears at the top echelon of national security.
When it comes to mass killings, Riggs has been there. He looked mass killer Doug Feldman in the eye during an hour-long interview on Texas Death Row. It’s the episode titled Interview With The Mass Killer Known As The Terminator. None of it made the slightest bit of sense to Riggs. Feldman warned Riggs at the beginning that his motives would not make sense to anybody but himself.
The shootings are only getting worse. Especially when children are slaughtered.
No one understands this epidemic better than Katharine Schweit who spent 20 years with the FBI as a Special Agent Executive and as a U.S. prosecutor.
In the years after the massacre of 20 school children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in New Town, Connecticut in December of 2012, the FBI spent more than 30 million dollars teaching police how to persistently pursue efforts to neutralize a shooter even if only one officer is present.
Yet, police in Uvalde, Texas waited 78 minutes before confronting the gunman at Robb Elementary School. The Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety called it the “wrong decision, period.”
The murders reflect a disturbing pattern. Six of the nine deadliest mass shootings in the United States since 2018 were committed by men who were 21 or younger.
Who is doing this? Why are they doing it? Can we tell when it is going to happen? How do we intervene?
Do our children need to go to school in fortresses?
Katharine Schweit answers some of those questions in her book, Stop The Killing – How to End the Mass Shooting Crisis.
Here’s their conversation.