In the wake of a tragedy of this magnitude, it is difficult to be dispassionate and analytical, but people are hungry for information that might shed light on such a horrifying event.
Of course, the danger is that in the absence of more substantive information, preliminary analyses are apt to go awry simply because we just don’t know enough.
James Wilson, in contrast, was a traumatized child who developed schizophrenia as a young adult.
Thomas Hamilton was a very enigmatic figure and we have little information about his internal world to guide us in understanding his dynamics.
Whereas both psychopathic and psychotic shooters tend to come from more or less stable homes, traumatized shooters are raised in highly dysfunctional families.
In terms of the typology, Purdy was a severely traumatized shooter and de Oliveira was psychotic.At least five other shooters have killed family members prior to their attacks at schools.In 1966, Charles Whitman murdered his mother and wife before conducting his sniper attack at the University of Texas.Of these five shooters, three were psychotic (Woodham, Kinkel, Castillo), one was psychopathic (Whitman), and one was traumatized (Weise).This is a very small sample, but it suggests that psychotic shooters are most likely to kill family members.