PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The shootings in Connecticut have many people in our area asking why and how someone could shoot innocent school children.

Larry Likar, a former FBI agent who now teaches Justice and Law at La Roche College, said it’s difficult to draw a profile of a mass murderer.

“There aren’t that many of these cases,” said Likar. “They’re still a rare event.”

He said unlike serial killers, which have been interviewed, mass murderers often kill themselves, just as 20-year-old Adam Lanza did.

Likar said that leaves many questions unanswered, which makes it harder to draw conclusions about them.

“They usually suffer from not low self-esteem, but high self-esteem,” Likar said.

He also said in general, mass murderers lack impulse control, lack sympathy and go through a justification process with themselves before they carry it out.

Could Lanza have been copying other recent mass shootings?

“You can’t make a definitive conclusion that these crimes arise as part of contagion effect, where they then copy the crime of somebody else,” Likar said.

However, he said there is evidence to suggest mass murderers sometimes research techniques used in previous killings.

“Wearing a mask to disguise identity, carrying two weapons in case one malfunctions,” Likar said.

As to whether there’s a way to stop horrific events like this, Likar said, “We want to believe we can solve this type of crime and prevent it in the future. The only way that would be possible, would essentially be to lock down all public venues.”


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