Red Flags and Indicators

The following are red flags, warning signs and indicators, associated with school shootings in the United States. Look for individuals who:

  • Convey violent fantasies in their writings and drawings, as well in as their reading and viewing materials, often engaging in role-playing acts of violence and degradation.
  • Have difficulty controlling anger, who make threats, or who have a fascination with weapons.
  • Practice and boast of fighting and combat proficiency such as in military tactics, sharp- shooting, and/or martial arts.
  • Are loners, isolated, socially withdrawn, and/or markedly antisocial.
  • Display suicidal ideation.
  • Display homicidal ideation.
  • Display stalking behavior.
  • Display non-compliance and disciplinary problems.
  • Display imitation of other murders.
  • Express interest in previous shootings.
  • Portray a victim/martyr self-concept.
  • Exhibit strangeness and aberrant behavior.
  • Exhibit paranoia.
  • Engage in violence and cruelty.
  • Maintain an expressionless face/anaerobia.
  • Have an unusual interest in police and military.
  • Display an unusual interest in terrorist activities and materials.


Updated January 20, 2023