"Generation Columbine" and Workplace Violence Prevention
On March 22, 2021, an individual born three days before the notorious Columbine High School massacre which occurred in suburban Denver on April 20, 1999 left his suburban Denver home and made his way to a nearby Kings Soopers market.
Shortly thereafter, ten innocent human beings were murdered in cold blood. Five were shot dead while they were working.
Like his predecessors the two "Columbine Killers," the 21-year-old charged with 10 counts of murder at the Kings Soopers store in Boulder was living at home with his family on the day of the massacre.
Workplace Violence, Parental Accountability, and the Columbine Generation.
Two million Americans experience workplace violence each year. Homicide is the fourth leading cause of occupational death in the United States. Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration, United States Department of Labor, https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/workplaceviolence/
A teacher was one of the 13 people killed during the Columbine massacre in Littleton, Colorado on April 20, 1999.
A teacher and a security guard were amongst the five innocents killed by a 16-year-old wearing a Columbine style long black duster and tee-shirt on March 21, 2005, in Red Lake, Minnesota.
Six staff members were amongst the 26 innocents killed during the December 14, 2012 attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut by a 20-year-old shooter who was influenced by Columbine.
Three grocery employees were shot dead at Pennsylvania’s Weis Market on June 8, 2017 by a 24-year-old co-worker who first became infatuated with Columbine while in high school.
Three staff members were shot dead at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018 by a 20-year-old shooter who researched Columbine before his attack on his former high school.
(Pictured above: Flo Rice and her husband Scot on the road to help prevent the next massacre before it occurs).
On May 18, 2018, faculty member Flo Rice was shot six times at Santa Fe High School in Texas by a 17-year-old student wearing a black duster style coat, black tee-shirt and vintage Communist Russia style pin just as the Columbine killers had. The person who shot at Flo wore a tee-shirt bearing the words "Born to Kill," a reference to a 1999 song made by the Columbine killers' favorite band.
The confessed SFHS shooter killed two staff members and eight students, and wounded 13 others including Flo on that awful Friday morning in a small town in Galveston County, Texas.
But for the quick thinking of Scot Rice, his wife Flo might have been the 11th person murdered, two of whom were employed as substitute teachers as she was.
For the background on Scot’s actions in entering the war zone that was SFHS as bullets flew to locate his wounded wife, pick her up, and transport her to the hospital in his car thereby saving her life, read his guest blog previously published by the WVPI here:
Preventing "The Next One" from Occurring
Since his wife's near-murder during a mass shooting while she was working, Scot together with Flo have dedicated themselves to achieve the goal of prevention of further school and other forms of deadly workplace violence.
The WVPI caught up with Scot again, following Monday’s devastating attack at the King’s Soopers Market, to get his thoughts on prevention.
Scot's hope is that this last mass shooting will be the last mass shooting.
The gist of Scot’s beliefs are that we as a country are missing opportunity after opportunity to prevent these cowardly and devastating attacks in our schools, stores, movie theatres and other places where Americans work and assemble.
Scot, much like myself, is convinced it is not a matter of "if" but "when" the next attempted or successful mass attack on Americans will occur.
An individual like the one who showed up at Kings Soopers in tactical gear armed with an assault rifle, magazines and bullets does not wake up one morning and say “I’m going to commit a mass shooting today,” Scot pointed out.
It takes both time and planning to pull off such a devastating event, and because of this, red flags of danger looming ahead are missed over and over again.
“Parents are the last line of defense to stop a mass shooting or bombing pulled off by their children. Lack of parental accountability has been an issue in numerous school and workplace mass shootings/bombings from Columbine to Sandy Hook to Weis Market and beyond.” Rice says.