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Notoriety Drives Mass Shooters

Thirst for fame and scandal-hungry media make for dangerous combo, doctor says
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2008 3:19 PM CST
Notoriety Drives Mass Shooters
Greg Zanis, of Sugar Grove, Ill., puts up five crosses and leaves flowers in front of the Lane Bryant store at the Brookside shopping center in Tinley Park, Ill., Sunday, Feb. 3, 2008. A gunman fatally shot five people at a store in a suburban Chicago strip mall and fled Saturday. One forensic psychiatrist...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Gunfire ripped out across the country last week in a spate of deadly shootings that were unrelated but for one haunting thread: the shooters’ desire for attention, a forensic psychiatrist tells ABC News. “We have to take the Paris Hilton attention-seeking out of crime, or innocent people will be killed,” Dr. Michael Welner says.

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The shooters in Missouri, Louisiana, and Illinois all felt ignored, explains Welner, who’s urging the media to shift attention from the criminals to the victims. “We should not be focusing on the manifesto. We should be focusing on the suffering,” he says, noting that the would-be Super Bowl gunman turned himself in because “he focused on humanity of the victims.” (Read more mass shootings stories.)

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