EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – On Thursday, The Texas House of Representatives heard the stories from the victims of the August third mass shooting during a forum at the University of Texas at El Paso.
The representatives also heard expert testimony during its “Mass Violence Prevention and Community Safety” meeting.
“Our experience and our expertise are that domestic violence is one of the leading indicators of someone that is likely to be involved as an offender, as a shooter in a mass shooting situation,” said David Chayer, Executive Director, Center Against Sexual and Family Violence.
Experts and families testified and told policymakers that the way to find solutions to prevent mass violence means understanding the behavior it stems from and how to know what it looks like.
“One of the most important things to prevent mass shootings is for people to feel confident in reporting behavior, reporting things that they know is just not right,” Chayer said.
The “Mass Violence and Community Safety Committee” was created after the August third mass shooting and later, the Odessa shooting which happened a month later.
Others testified that mental illness was often to blame for those heinous actions and said it was not always the case.
One expert used the man accused of the Odessa mass shooting as an example saying the shooter’s termination from his job without receiving proper counseling led to the incident.
“If this happens to someone who already has problems with anger and resentment then that could potentially lead to violence. It needs to be easier for people in that situation to get counseling,” said Jennifer Louden, a UTEP psychology professor.