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Workplace Violence Prevention News

Threat of April Violence

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Does the Threat of Violence Increase in April?

Vigilance and Suspicion Should be heightened

Mass violence can occur at any time and any place, but undoubtedly there is a bizarre attraction associated with certain symbolic dates.  The month of April has widely been recognized as time for extra vigilance.  The motivation behind the recent mass stabbing in Pennsylvania has yet to be determined. What is not widely known, or remembered, is that just one year ago a similar mass stabbing happened at a community college in Cypress TX.  This list represents some of the recent incidents of mass violence:


April 19, 1995              Federal Building Bombing, Oklahoma City        168 killed/680 wounded

April 20, 1999              Columbine High School                                  13 killed/21 wounded

April 16 2007               Virginia Tech Massacre                                   32 killed/23 wounded

April 3, 2009                ICE Headquarters, Binghamton, NY                 13 Killed/4 wounded

April 26, 2009              Dorm Shootings, Hampton Virginia                   0 Killed/2 wounded

April 9, 2010                Mass Stabbing at College in Cypress Texas       0 killed/14 wounded

April 2, 2012                Oikos University Mass Shooting, Oakland CA     7 Killed/3 wounded

April 12, 2013              New River College, Christiansburg, VA               0 killed/2 wounded

April 15, 2013              Boston Marathon Bombing                               4 Killed/ 280 wounded

April 16, 2013              Grambling University                                       0 Killed/3 wounded

April 3, 2014                Fort Hood TX,                                                 3 Killed/ 16 wounded

April 11, 2014              Pennsylvania High School Mass Stabbing           0 killed/22 wounded


A quick review of this list reveals a wide range of personal, political and religious ideological motives.  However, post incident investigations have revealed a common thread.  In almost every incident of mass violence there were very clear warning.  Unfortunately, these warning signs are often not discovered until after the fact.  As a tragic example, it has been widely reported that the Columbine shooting was in the planning stages for over a year.  We also know that several of the attackers idolized previous murders and studied their attacks.

 We strongly encourage parents, community members and organizations to be extra vigilant for unusual behavior.  Recent and significant behavioral changes coupled with violent ideation is a key warning sign. Contrary to widely held belief, violence is most often preventable.  This is especially true when the warning signs are brought to the attention of authorities.  

 If you see something that doesn’t make sense…say something!

About Alvarez Associates
Hector Alvarez is the founder of Alvarez Associates, a security risk management firm that is committed to providing the tools, resources and knowledge to better understand and protect yourself, your organization and our communities from the threat of violence. We established the Violence Prevention Academy™ specifically for this purpose.  Our Academy programs are designed and geared towards civilians and other “immediate responders.”

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