There are four ways to browse the library of documents or the database of perpetrators:
- View documents of a specific type by using the links to the left
- Quickly view a specific shooter with the dropdown menu at upper right*
- Search the database to find school shooters demographically
- Use the basic search to find any text wherever it appears in the library or database
Types of Documents
Articles are by Dr. Peter Langman and other scholars in the field. “General research” articles cover Dr. Langman’s typology, methods of threat assessment, issues such as bullying and psychiatric medications, and more. “Specific incidents” articles are profiles of individual perpetrators or groups of perpetrators.
Information contains compiled data about many aspects of school shooters and their attacks. “General research” documents cover patterns and trends across large samples of perpetrators, including victim selection, legal histories, origins of firearms, racial and gender identity, home life, and more. “Specific incidents” documents include timelines and indices of primary sources that relate to specific perpetrators.
Original documents are primary sources that relate to specific attacks. Shooters’ words includes writings by perpetrators (journals, websites, blogs, forum posts, suicide notes, etc) and transcripts of their videos. This category also includes annotated transcripts and translations of primary sources that are exclusive to School Shooters .info. Court cases are reports from shooters’ appearances in court and from other cases that relate to their attacks. Law enforcement records are primary sources from police and other agencies. School records include internal correspondence about perpetrators. Mental health records include perpetrators’ therapy notes. Autopsies are coroners’ reports.
Official reports are documents that were published by government agencies and other official bodies. “General research” reports are studies and recommendations on issues relating to school shootings. “Specific incident” reports were published in the wake of an attack and detail the incident, the response, and lessons learned.
Please note that not all documents fit into a sub-category; for instance, there are documents under the general category “Original documents” that are not displayed under any of that category’s sub-sections.
Prevention documents are articles or official reports that relate to threat assessment, school safety, and the prevention of school shootings. These documents also appear under Articles and Official Reports, but are gathered on the Prevention page for ease of reference.
Using the Library
Click on the title of a document to open the file in your browser. You can also right-click (ctrl-click) on the document title and choose “Download” to save the file to your computer. Unless otherwise specified, all documents are PDF files. Documents that we create are assigned version numbers, shown at the foot of each page, and appended to the file name. This number is updated whenever a document is revised.
For an explanation of the psychological types, shooter populations, and attack types, please see About the Site.
Guidelines for Citation
When citing articles, edited data documents, and original documents that have been transcribed by Dr. Langman, we recommend including the version number as displayed in the lower right corner of each page, including the revision date. Note that document file names (and the URLs derived from them, such as …/school_shooters_warning_signs_1.2.pdf) are not stable; the file names change each time a document is updated, to reflect the current version number. The URL of the webpage associated with each document is stable, however, and therefore this is the preferred URL for documentation purposes. The document webpage can be found by entering the title of the document in the basic search. Here is a sample bibliographic citation, using Chicago documentation style I (notes and bibliography), and employing a document webpage URL:
Langman, Peter. “School Shooters: The Warning Signs,” version 1.2 (12 February 2016). School Shooters .info. www.schoolshooters.info/school-shooters-warning-signs.
*Shooters appear in brackets in the dropdown menu if we do not currently have any documents pertaining to them in the database. However, their pages still feature basic demographic information and information about their attacks. In addition, some of these shooters (as well as many shooters for whom we do have documents) are profiled in my book School Shooters; this is noted on the right side of the page for each shooter.