Perpetrator characteristics include:

  • most are male
  • gang affiliation
  • stalking related conduct
  • if not students, most are employed
  • relatives of injured/aggrieved person
  • age range varies, but average age is 38
  • persons with a history of intimate partner violence
  • perpetrators under the age of 18 are usually students
  • most have a limited history of adult criminal convictions of any kind
  • most have completed high school, however, level of education greatly varies
  • The abuse of drugs, including alcohol, by the employee, both on and off the job
  • history of acting in an abusive, violent, harassing or oppressive manner (e.g., bullying, workplace intimidation)

Note: According to the FBI, there are very few demographic patterns or trends (aside from gender) that can be identified, reinforcing the concept that there is no one “profile” of an active shooter.


Silver, J., Ph.D., J.D., Simons, A., & Craun, S., Ph.D. (2018, June). A Study of the Pre-Attack Behaviors of Active Shooters [Scholarly project]. Retrieved July 2, 2018, from

Tully, E. J. (1994, August). NEIA Associates – Workplace Violence: How Police Can Help. Retrieved July 4, 2018, from


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