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Domestic Violence Escalation

AMARILLO - The Sutherland Springs shooter had a history of domestic violence, which is a common theme with several other mass shooters during the past decade.

A new report from NBC News explains that mass shooters including the ones responsible for the Las Vegas shooting, the Orlando nightclub shooting, the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooting, and most recently, the Sutherland Springs church shooting all have a few things in common. They are men and have a reported history of domestic violence.

Kathy Tortoreo with Family Support Services said it is impossible to discern if someone who is a domestic violence perpetrator will become a mass shooter, and they all don't, of course, but she did tell us domestic violence does escalate.

Abuse usually happens in private, but it can creep out of the home.

The LA Times reports Las Vegas shooter, Stephen Paddock, had been seen verbally abusing his girlfriend in public, something Tortoreo told us she has seen from many domestic violence perpetrators.

"The pattern seems to be that it begins fairly slowly with small types of transgressions," said Kathy Tortoreo. "Pushing, shoving, name-calling, those kind of things. Over time as that need for power escalates then the relationship becomes more violent, more aggressive."

Again, this does not mean every domestic abuser is going to become a mass shooter, but many mass shooters do have a history of domestic abuse.

Tortoreo added domestic violence thrives in secret and the only way to truly get it out in the open is to intervene.

She said family support services is not only for domestic abuse victims but also has programs for domestic violence perpetrators who are looking for help to change their behavior.


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