Not a Pretty Profile

Not a Pretty Profile

Written by Robert D. Sollars

As the above headline reads, this is not a very pretty profile, and I ain’t talking about pictures. These are the most frequent, notable, items of a profile for a perpetrator of either workplace or school violence (WPV/SV).

This is by no means the exclusive and definitive list. Just as many violent incidents can be carried out by people that don’t comfortably fit into these brackets. There are always a few that don’t fit inside the box and are on the edges of it climbing out…more than likely to avoid being punished for their crime.


This is one area where the perpetrators can vary greatly. From the 6-year-old in Newport News Virginia earlier this year, to the 72-year-old man who killed another customer at a C-Store in Florida several years ago.

The average age for a WPV perpetrator is between 20 & 50. In recent years we’ve seen people as old as 72 that will perpetrate an incident of violence at a business.

School shootings are obviously a bit different. The perpetrators are younger, 17, 13, or as young as 6, as stated above in Virginia. The most accurate for the ages getting younger…mental health issues caused by the pandemic lockdowns.

Race & Gender:

The overwhelming majority of incidents are committed by white males. Again, this is the majority. There are numerous incidents where I can point you to a female and a black, Asian, Hispanic, or Arabic descendant who perpetrated the crime. There have been incidents where the perpetrator was transgender, as in Highland Ranch Colorado in 2019, which fouls up these stats even more.


The majority of people, media and law enforcement alike, believe that most WPV/SV incidents occur with firearms, they are 1,000% wrong. Only the incidents that get the headlines are committed with firearms, for the most part. There are numerous reports of people using other weapons, including knives and pipes rather than firearms. More incidents are committed with fists, words, hammers, screwdrivers, & even pencils. It has been stated for years “If it bleeds it leads”.

Family/work Stress:

Serious stress within the family is also in the profile. From a child’s illness, finances, divorce, and so many other items. If you look at most incidents there is the stress of some kind that is among the reasons for the crime.

The death of his mother prompted a 53-year-old man to plan and carry out a shooting on the E. Lansing campus of Michigan State University in February. She passed in 2020 because of CovD and he never got over it. Read the reports of incidents and you’ll see something similar in each one.

Mental Illness:

Literally, everyone who perpetrates an incident of WPV/SV has been perceived to have a mental illness. In most instances, they do. But not in all cases. Depression or other health concerns can be destructive to someone’s mental health. Only 89% of WPV and 94% of SV perpetrators are actually clinically mentally ill.

Perception of disparate treatment:

I’ve never read any incident of WPV/SV that hasn’t included this aspect. I’m sure you can name hundreds of incidents that do. Every incident that I’ve heard has perceived that there was, supposed, disparate treatment from co-workers, supervisors, managers, vendors, etc. Then of course there is the school violence, teachers, other students, coaches, and anyone associated with the school.


The proverbial lone wolf. The people who commit these crimes, whether it be at a business, school, parking lot, or in someone’s home will normally be a loner. From sitting by themselves at lunch or on breaks or just never socializing with others.

They may sit by themselves and appear to be happy or satisfied but they aren’t. In some cases, they are just painfully shy. Remember though, that creative types working even in a factory setting can be concentrating on a project. Vice Versa, they could be planning their plot, and if they have an accomplice…

Anger Issues

This is one that is becoming more prevalent as time progresses. You can see it with the number of shootings committed by young adults in schools & shopping malls. They don’t know how to handle their anger so therefore they lash out at whatever is making them upset. Any psychologist will tell you, and it’s been documented, that part of this is due to the mental illness caused by the pandemic and not socializing very much…almost like a return to “Lord of the Flies”.

Other signs:

There are numerous other signs that can profile a potential perpetrator of this crime. In these cases, if you look at the warning signs, then you’ll see many other facets of someone who may become violent…somewhere. From drug and alcohol abuse, addiction to violent music, video games, & movies, and attendance issues.

As with the warning signs, we all need to be able to connect the dots and not be afraid to tell or talk to someone about these people, be they a friend or not, someone has to say something and not just ignore or blow off the signs.     Twitter: RobertSollars2     e-mail:

Like these blogs? Then please feel free to pass them along, with proper attribution,  to friends, colleagues, or anyone who may benefit, from proper attribution. Have them subscribe at my website: Sollars Violence Prevention Training & Consulting

It happens to Anyone…Any Time…Anywhere… For any Reason

I May Be Blind, but My Vision Is Crystal Clear

Copyright 2023 Robert D. Sollars

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