Violent signs from Orlando gunman that could be seen in your own workplace


COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) - Since the Orlando shooting massacre, the phrase "If you see something say something" has been tossed around by several law enforcement agencies, including the FBI. Very often, officials say there are warning signs people can see before something like a shooting ever happens.

Experts say around ten thousand murders have occurred in the workplace over the past decade and more than a million incidents of workplace violence occur every year.

Not only is recognizing the signs crucial, but USC Professor Jon Seiner says reporting anything out of the ordinary is just as important.

"Issues were raised with respect to this individual," said Seiner.

Several times throughout Orlando gunman Omar Mateen's life, authorities say he showed signs he was a violent, dangerous person capable of murder.

"There were incidents that occurred in this individual's workplace that could have raised flags for those involved," said Seiner.

According to the FBI, in 2013 Mateen told co-workers he had family connections to Al-Qaeda. They reported his comment to the Sheriff's office. They also reported Mateen spoke of dying a martyr's death and had mutual acquaintances with the Tsarnaev brothers- the men behind the Boston marathon bombings.

"I think one of the problems that you might've had here was just a failure to connect those dots," said Seiner, "and I think this event really underscores the importance of coordination between the police, between the FBI, between employers to share that type of information with one another."

Seiner emphasizes the importance of employers and co-workers working together when they notice anything out of the ordinary.

"Police may see one thing, one supervisor may see one thing, one co-worker may see another thing, and sometimes it's hard to connect those dots, and that's where employers really have to work hard to try to prevent this type of incident from occurring."

Seiner says employer background checks are critical, as well as noticing hostile comments, harassment or inappropriate behavior. Regardless of how minute the case may be, Seiner says reporting the incident is important.

"Let the employer make that call, and you should air on the side of raising these type of issues because maybe it's that one complaint that prevents this type of tragedy in the future."

Seiner adds that it is important to keep in mind the "5 c's" when attempting to address and prevent such violence: character checks, counseling, communication, cautious cutbacks and community involvement.

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