Local expert outlines Texas school shooting, emphasizes need for better mental health treatment
ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WLNE) — Nineteen students and two adults were shot and killed in Uvalde, Texas Tuesday morning at Robb Elementary School.
Security analyst and counterterrorism expert, Todd McGhee, attributes this spike to a mental health crisis in the United States.
“It is up to the community to recognize red flags,” said McGhee. “People just don’t wake up one day and say I am going to start taking lives. For coworkers for loved ones, recognize the people that are closest to them and start paying attention to the troubles in their lives, as well how they’re responding to the troubles in their life.”
McGhee served with the Massachusetts State Police for over two decades. He also educates agencies such as schools, stores, and other large venues on how to react amidst an active shooter.
McGhee, giving parents advice on what to tell their kids, explained that “running is the best option. If that is not available, shelter in place, find a very safe place, and even with that, stay low to the ground. As far as scaling law enforcement, it’s not sustainable.”
McGhee told ABC 6 News that while increased security and training for public venues is still necessary, the solution to mass shootings comes down to being more empathetic to the people around us.
“We need to be able to remove the stigma of mental health. People need help. People have challenges, and don’t often look for the resources for fear of being stigmatized as someone with mental health problems. The resources are there, but we have to guide people towards those resources,” he concluded.
Multiple communities in Southern New England have come out publicly saying that they will increase police presence on school grounds Wednesday as a precaution.