Threat: Concerning behaviors

We are asking for your help.  Notify us if you see someone engaging in any of these behaviors. We do not want - nor do we expect you to make any type of interpretation or assessment of this behavior. We have behavioral assessment specialists who are trained and experienced to correctly interpret this type of behavior in terms of their significance to possible future acts of violence.  Report your information to University Police.  If an emergency, call 911.   If reporting general information or concerns, dial 831-459-2231.

Here is a list of behaviors we want you to report along with possible examples. This material was prepared in collaboration with experts who work in threat assessment.   However, this is not an exhaustive list and if you see other behavior that concerns you, please report that as well. 

  1. A focused and/or intense interest in studying, researching and planning for a future act of violence. This can include studying prior cases like Virginia Tech, Columbine, etc. It can also include preparing writings, or videos in which they express their views, or intended actions. It can also include casually scoping out the inside of a building to get an understanding of its physical layout or going to a firing range to practice with a weapon, particularly if they have never expressed a prior interest in firearms. 
  2. An ongoing, focused even obsessive interest in previous cases involving threats or violence. This degree of interest might be noted in the time they spend researching these cases on the internet, preparing their own writings or views on previous cases, talking excessively about some of these cases to whoever will listen.  Some of the cases of interest could include the Columbine High School Shooting, the Virginia Tech Shooting and/or the recent shooting in Tucson, Arizona.
  3. Showing signs of a “warrior mentality” – someone who indicates through their writings, their drawings, etc, and particularly their Internet postings on Face Book, YouTube, etc, how they identify with acts of violence. Examples can include: posting a photo of themselves with weapons on the internet; writings or postings in which they express an identification or admiration for previous attackers along with their own “warrior” mentality – interest in weapons, themes of revenge and retaliation against other people.
  4. A noted change in someone’s behavior (actions and words) which include acts of aggression towards other people, property, etc.  Some examples might include, stalking behavior of others; intentional acts of vandalism to property; theft of property, etc.
  5. “Leakage Behavior” - Someone you notice whose conversations, writings, and internet postings contain recurrent themes of violence, hatred, retribution, injustice collecting, and ideations of suicide and homicide. The leakage can also include comments and offhanded remarks about their specific plans. For example someone might say to a friend or colleague “You may want to be watching the news on January 18, 2011”.
  6. Direct Threat: If you know that someone has made a direct threat – verbally or in writing – about wanting to hurt another person or persons or cause damage to a particular place building or facility.
  7. A noted increase in the frequency, degree or variety of any of the above behaviors.