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Crime & Justice

Psychology of domestic abusers and mass shooters may overlap




Law enforcement officials gather near First Baptist Church following a shooting on November 5, 2017 in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
Law enforcement officials gather near First Baptist Church following a shooting on November 5, 2017 in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

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It isn't entirely clear what motivated the shooter in Sunday's attack on a Texas church. Authorities said that it might have been a domestic situation involving his wife's family who attended services there, and that the shooter had a history of being abusive.

He was court-martialed for assaulting his wife and stepson in 2012, while he was in the Air Force.
 
Amanda Taub of the New York Times wrote after the Pulse nightclub shooting about the possible parallels between those who commit domestic violence and acts of mass violence.

Listen to how the psychology of an abuser and a mass attacker may overlap. Click the audio player above.