CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WFXR)– After the deadly tragedy at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Va., criminologists are weighing in on how you can be more aware of a person displaying signs of workplace violence.
“Part of my research was doing the profile of occupational violence,” said Dr. Tod Burke, Criminologist, and Former Police Officer.
Dr. Burke says this type of violence typically happens in stages and is never a situation where a person just snaps.
Behaviors such as being disgruntled, and believing their job is in jeopardy (whether it is real or not), are just some of the adjectives that describe this type of person.
He adds people with these traits are typically males.
“They have a history of conflict with co-workers including past threats of violence. They are perceived to be loners, bitter, disgruntled, frustrated with the occupation, and may even if you do a little research you can find out they may have had some domestic problems that carried out into the workplace,” said Dr. Burke.
He went on to say, these individuals often deal with substance abuse, and different types of aggression, and may have even discussed their previous violent episodes–either on social media…or in person (with family members, friends, or other co-workers.)
This includes a fascination with weapons.
He stresses his profile is general, and not specific to the shooter in the Chesapeake incident.
“It is not to victim blame in any situation, these are people who have expressed these signs or symptoms previously, but they were missed, or they were ignored. Or people said that’s just John being John,” said Dr. Burke.
He says if you see something say something, and notify a supervisor or Human resources.