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FSU Study on 2018 yoga studio shooting: ‘There were many warning signs leading up to this tragedy’

Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 8:37 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - November will mark three years since the deadly yoga studio shooting of 2018 in Tallahassee.

A recent study put out by FSU uses this incident as a case study into the psychology behind hate crimes against women. Researchers found that there many warning signs leading up to this tragedy, but officials didn’t seem to take these red flags seriously.

Christopher Collins, an FSU doctoral student, spent more than a year analyzing the factors that led to this incident. He preferred not to use the perpetrator’s name, argued that many individuals who commit these acts seek fame or notoriety, and he doesn’t want to feed into that.

Collins said the man responsible was not shy about his anger toward women. He had put out hateful videos and messages in the past, talking about being violent toward women.

Researchers characterized the man as an “incel” (short for “involuntary celibate”) - someone who holds anti-feminist views and uses the internet to spread those views.

Collins said there were a lot of opportunities for different official agencies to intervene when this man showed signs of being dangerous.

“We have a lot of red flags, you know, this individual had been fired from previous employers for looking at pornography on a state issue, government computer for touching a student on the breast, with no legal ramifications really to speak of,” said Collins.

The doctoral student said most incels are more active on the internet and don’t act on their hateful attitudes toward women in the real world. But the red flags displayed by the 2018 shooter prior to his attack should have raised concerns.

Collins said one way to prevent future tragedies is for agencies to implement threat assessment programs, allowing them to keep tabs on people who show signs that they might be inclined toward violence.

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