And despite the argument that the incidents are indicative of an increased violence trend in America, criminologists chalked the shootings up to random chance.
But for many, the tragic deaths and the rising number of mass shootings in America is too serious to blame on chance.
“The natural thing to do is to try to make sense out of these events, particularly because they are so heinous and happened within such a short period of time,” said Tricia Bent-Goodley, a Howard University professor and member of the National Association of Social Workers who studies domestic violence.
But each week, she said, nine women are killed by an intimate partner. So these cases “are a reminder that the home is not a safe place for all Americans and that people do the unthinkable each day against people they say they love,” Bent-Goodley said.
That shocking statistic rings true — each of the four shootings this week were domestic.
According to the Huffington Post:
– In Phoenix on Saturday, a pharmacist described as paranoid, angry and depressed methodically shotgunned his next-door neighbors — a grandfather, his daughter, his son-in-law and his grandson — and then killed himself. The family’s two dogs also were killed, and neighbors speculated that their incessant barking caused the disturbed man to kill.
– In New York City, a mother and her four young children were hacked and stabbed to death with a butcher knife Saturday by a relative who had been staying at their house, police said. Alarmed family members came to the house and banged on the door, which opened to a shocking sight: the alleged killer, dripping with blood.
– In Texas, police said a man with a long criminal history went on a murder spree Monday, killing his mother in the home they shared, then an aunt and three others. The man had served prison time and relatives said he struggled with drug addiction.
– On Tuesday, five people were killed in a South Carolina home by a man who was in a custody fight with his girlfriend. Police said the man broke into the house, waited for the family to come home, then shot his girlfriend, her parents and two children, ages 9 and 11. The killer, who was facing a burglary charge that could have imprisoned him for 30 years, then committed suicide.
Still, experts believe that these stories are becoming more common and visible because of the media, internet and social media.
It was simple chance that these crimes happened so close together, said Joel Best, a criminology professor who studies violence, the media and public perception. He compared it to tossing a bucket of Legos across a tile floor — the number of blocks that land on each tile is random.
“There’s no good reason to think that just because they happened within a few days of each other that there’s some kind of trend,” Best said.
Whatever the case, even one mass shooting a week, a month, a year is too much. But four tragic shootings in the span of seven days? Well, that shouldn’t be chalked up to “just chance.”
SOURCE: Huffington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty