It was a Tuesday night,a couple years back, a state trooper sat in his car anxiously listening to his radio. The chatter from multiple police agencies, wailing sirens in the back ground, revving v-8's growling, calling out codes, crackled over the speaker. Suspect was traveling over one hundred miles an hour, in the wrong lane, head on into traffic. The trooper's job was to stop anyone else getting on the highway, and engage the suspect he he chose his exit.
To his relief, the suspect pulled off another exit and lost the caravan of cruisers on darkened side streets.
He listened to other agencies, out of jurisdiction, break off. Everything was quieting down.
Still at this post, he saw the silhouette of another trooper's car roll up on him. They chatted, certain they were done.
Then they heard the engine winding up in the distance. The troopers had little time to react as the suspect vehicle barreled past them, glancing the second cruiser as it went by.
Radio calls revived as the trooper was now in pursuit on a dark, winding road, the suspect at speeds well over eighty. While cops can ignore the law of highways, they cannot ignore the law of physics. A Crown Victoria is a midsized sedan with no magic powers, just rear wheel drive and a stupid big engine. This is NOT a car for dark back roads.
The trooper backed off, letting the suspect charge recklessly into the night. Other agencies were calling in, the search pattern starting up again.
The trooper headed back to his buddy and they set up a post with stop sticks.
A stop stick is a long pool noodle of foam filled with hollow spikes. You run over it with a car and the spikes hit your tire, slowly deflating them. As they took positions of safety, the howl of the suspect's engine sounded out into the night, coming closer.
The troopers, ready to throw their stop sticks, waited for the suspect to thread the needle of their positioned cruisers.
He had no intention of driving by.
He slammed into the back of the second trooper's car.
The second trooper, hiding behind his car, was knocked down and stunned.
The first trooper, gun drawn, his eyes fighting the terror of the scene, approached the suspect vehicle, screaming, "Show me your hands, show me your hands!"
Slowly the suspect clambered out of his vehicle, raising his hands.
He was holding a champagne bottle.
Confused, the trooper shouted at the suspect to drop the bottle, and the suspect rose to his full height, his eyes wide and wild, and shouted in a blood curdling voice, "I WILL MURDER YOU!"
He turned and slammed the champagne bottle on the hood of his car, then paused in surprise as it did not break. He did it again, pounding on it furiously, yet the champagne bottle would not break. He finally gave up, and stomped after the trooper, his bottle upraised as a club.
The trooper backpedalled, shouting commands, and the two circled around the car. As they did, the second trooper staggered to his feet and looking up drew his weapon.
The suspect turned, raising his champagne bottle, arching it back to swing.
Both trooper's fired. The second trooper, stumbling back, his shot went wide.
The first trooper's shot hit home.
The suspect dropped.
The two troopers cuffed him, did first aid and called for an ambulance. He was taken to the hospital. In the ambulance, cuffed to the gurney, the trooper asked him:
"Dude, WHAT THE FUCK!"
The man apologized. Then said that he hated himself so much he wanted to die. He couldn't do it, so instead, he wanted to create a situation he could not possibly survive.
This is not a 'story'. I, and I mean, ME, spoke to the trooper who shot him and the suspect's mother. When I say spoke, I used verbal words, I shook their hands, I looked them both in the eye. I listened to their story because the suspect's story did not end there.
His mother had more to say.
She arrived at the hospital, her son under armed guard, and he told her the same thing he told the trooper.
He recovered, did therapy for both his gun shot and his mental state. His mother worked very hard to resolve his issues, learning about mental health.
She did everything a human being could do to help another human being.
His brain, however, was fire.
In the end, he succeeded.
He didn't want to hurt anyone, but he needed to commit a crime so huge he could not survive.
He went after a cop with a machete. He was killed.
The trooper and his mother now go on tour talking about mental health.
Thanks for staying with me so far, but you should be really curious as to what this has to do with School shootings.
The pattern is this. Someone goes to a school, shoots up the place, the cops arrive, they shoot themselves. They often rebuff the first encounter with law enforcement, before capping themselves to the overwhelming force.
There are exceptions, but the pattern is the same, putting themselves in a situation they cannot survive.
Suicide by cop.
I don't mean to simplify mental health. There are FAR too many factors to consider in the scope of the mind, but there comes a moment when the brain betrays us and only horror is an option.
And it can take time, YEARS.
A man, living out in the midwest, thought his life wasn't going the way he wanted, so he began to accumulate guns and ammunition. He traveled around different states to hide under the radar, joining gun clubs as not to raise suspicions for accumulating ammo, and of course, to practice. At one point he got a girlfriend and suspended his plans of murder, until she dumped him.
We know this from his blog. If you found it, it said, "The Password is the day I die."
So, it was locked until that day.
For years he knew the day.
He went to his old school, smuggled his guns in, and chained the doors to the auditorium.
Two things went array. One, the auditorium was canceled so instead of hundreds of potential victims he had thirty, and two, the police were training on campus.
As he walked down the aisle, murdering, he looked up and saw through the tiny auditorium door window a boat load of cops. They made quick work of the locked door, but he had run up on stage, and before the cops could access, shot himself.
They found his blog, and typed in the day's date.
This is your suspect. A man who thought he failed in life picked on his school for failing to prepare him, but reality speaking, he didn't want to live and created a scenario he could not survive. He could have capped himself whenever, but instead, his mind wrapped itself with layers of stories to blame others for his own short comings, made by extension, his suicide.
So he could die.
Not all these go to plan, not all these work. In Florida, a teen walked into school with an AR-15 and shot up the place. The gun then jammed. Unable to fix it, he tried to hide with the other students who pointed him out. The cops took him into custody.
A lot has not been disclosed about him, his mental state, about what he wanted.
I can't comment on it.
I can, however, speculate. His blood lust had not been satiated. The weapon malfunctioned, distracted him, taking him from the moment, allowing reality to settle in.
What was left of his brain, that bit that wanted to survive, suddenly piped up, suggesting to make a run for it.
And he did.
So, in schools and shootings, this is the person you have to stop. Someone who has planned it, someone who knows the lay out, someone who knows the drill.
And most of all.
Someone who wants to die.
More on this.