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Terminated Florida Employee Arrested After Sending Text Threatening a Mass Shooting

We have repeatedly addressed the importance of implementing systems providing employees and other witnesses with a formal mechanism to report pre-event leakage of violent intent as a key strategy to mitigate the risk of workplace violence.

According to research published by the F.B.I. in 2018 and a July 2019 study by the United States Secret Service, active shooters frequently leak violent intent to others either verbally or in writing before their attacks.

Today the WVPI has learned the reporting of a text by a recently terminated employee to a former co-worker may have played a part in possibly averting tragedy at a St. Petersburg, Florida Steak-N-Shake restaurant.

According to published reports, the terminated worker sent a text to his former co-worker stating "I thought of just walking in there and killing everyone then shooting myself."

On July 19, 2019, the man was arrested by St. Petersburg police and thereafter charged with a violation of Florida Statute Section 836.10 for making written threats of bodily injury or to kill, a felony.

Also according to reports, the defendant has voluntarily surrendered his AR-15 weapon in accordance with a risk protection order pursuant to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Act which became law in Florida following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The AR-15 is the same weapon used in the February 14, 2018 massacre at Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Florida which left three faculty members and 14 students dead and 17 others wounded.

(c) Claims Magazine

The WVPI's January 2017 Claims Magazine cover article entitled "Workplace Violence: How Do We Reduce the Risk?" can be read in its entirety here:


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