Early Monday morning, shooting broke out at a security facility in Southern New Jersey, resulting in one man injured and another dead. The gunman allegedly shot the victim four times before turning the gun on himself. Both were employed by Shields Business Solutions, a company that services ATMs and provides armored car services.
Often—before these incidents occur—there is noticeable behavioral changes that may send up warning flags of potential violence to come. One such sign is losing the ability to separate home life from work life. According to local police, the active shooter incident escalated from an ongoing domestic situation between both men. The following warning signs will help alert you to other potentially dangerous behavior before it is too late.
Pay attention to whether or not a coworker displays threatening behavior, aggressive outbursts or temper, or makes bizarre comments, especially if it involves violent content. Often, recent and major changes in behavior, demeanor, or appearance, or withdrawal from family, friends, and normal life can signal a problem.
If you notice an individual who displays a pattern of the following tendencies, contact human resources or the police as necessary:
- Threatens harm or talks about killing their boss or other employees.
- Unexplained increase in absenteeism.
- Suicidal; comments about “putting things in order.”
- Constantly starts fights or assaults others, including family members.
- Loses temper and self-control easily; severe mood swings.
- Escalation of personal, domestic, or financial problems into the workplace.
- Converts frustration into physical violence.
Unfortunately, there is no specific profile that can predict or identify perpetrators of workplace violence. Instead, warning signs of questionable behavior can alert you of possible threats that might require examination or perhaps intervention. If your company does not have procedures in place to respond to an active shooter incident, you can use the Active Shooter Tabletop Exercise to get started.
For more information, visit the Active Shooter section of your portal or contact your Client Services representative.
Marlia Fontaine-Weisse is the Content Manager for Preparis.