Michael Slobodian: the forgotten school shooter. An examination of the on-scene offense characteristics of the first Canadian school shooting, Brampton, Ontario, 1975.
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Mass murders and school shootings have become an emerging social problem in North America over the last two decades. Although rare, these terrifying events elicit horror, shock and fear across the nation. Despite the difficulties in studying school shootings, existing literature on this increasingly common form of school violence have focused primarily on the form of the shootings in an effort to understand the causes of these violent school attacks. However, various factors remain unaddressed: First, existing literature pertaining to firearm-related homicide on school property fails to critically analyze the occurrence of school shootings from a Canadian context. Second, the literature on firearm-related homicide in school settings neglects to account for the variables that explain the variations in outcomes of school shootings. And third, there is a lack of analysis present in the current literature explaining the school shooter’s vector of aggression. As such, this paper applies Shon’s model of mass murder and lethality of outcomes to the very first school shooting in North America. In doing so, this research sheds light into the shooter’s attack planning patterns and contributes to understanding the variation in outcomes of shooting events and the dynamic factors that sparked this deadly trend of firearm- related school violence.