U.S. Lone Wolf Workplace Mass-Shooting Pattern
Workplace shootings are all too common in California. The latest one fits a pattern
There have been 37 mass workplace shootings since 2009, according to data tracked by Everytown for Gun Safety. But in an alarming trend, five of those deadly attacks occurred in just the last 10 weeks.

AdvertisementAnd two of this year’s mass workplace shootings were carried out in California, in keeping with yet another lethal shift. From 1986 to 2011, a fourth of all mass workplace shootings nationwide occurred here (in Calif.) according to researchers at New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

In that span, Robert McCrie, a professor of security management at John Jay, counts 44 of what his research describes as workplace mass homicides in the United States. Eleven happened in California. The next deadliest states were Texas, Florida and Missouri; each had three.

Workplace shooters “are more likely to be striking out, as we saw in this case,” McCrie said, “and they strike out at the place where the pain can be greatest — either in their home and neighborhood or their place of work.”

In a study of workplace shootings published in the journal Injury Epidemiology in 2019, researchers studied such attacks nationwide between 2011 and 2015 and found that 40% were committed during robberies and 12% had unknown motives.

It was the other 48% — 744 shootings — that gave insight into the mind and motivation of the workplace shooter. About three quarters of those shootings involved an argument or a conflict.

The researchers also found that, while there was a drop in workplace shootings committed during robberies during the time frame studied, the number of shootings committed by a co-worker “displayed an erratic, upward trend.”

“Workplace homicides, particularly workplace shootings, are no longer robbery related but are more often interpersonal in nature,” said Doucette, one of the study’s authors. They are “arguments, conflicts that maybe exist between co-workers and customers or intimate partners.”

Co-workers described him as a loner at the agency, where he worked for the last eight years. John Jay College’s McCrie said that’s a characteristic shared by many workplace shooters.

“They attract bullying and sometimes that’s a factor in triggering them,” he said. It is also typical, as in Cassidy’s case, that “they either have been disciplined, they’re facing a disciplinary hearing or they have been terminated.”