Nicole Hockley‘s 6-year-old son Dylan was killed in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. Now she’s helping her organization Sandy Hook Promise announce a new PSA that helps students, parents, and teachers recognize warning signs, and put a stop to massacres like the one that happened in Newtown, Connecticut — six years ago today.
The group got award-winning Hollywood director Rupert Sanders and Creative agency BBDO New York to create the powerful and haunting new short film Point of View. It takes viewers through the eyes of a teenager who goes onto commit a mass shooting at school.
“While the scene is set with excited students in the hallways, there is another story unfolding simultaneously — that of a shooter planning to attack the school,” Sandy Hook Promise said in a statement to Law&Crime. “Eventually viewers come to understand that the camera’s perspective and that of the shooter are the same, underscoring the message that the warning signs and signals of someone at-risk for committing gun violence are frequently missed.”
Since 2014, the Sandy Hook Promise has been educating the public about warning signs through its Know the Signs programs. The group points out that 80 percent of school shooters, and 70 percent of people who who die by suicide told someone about their plans ahead of time.
“Yet no interventions were made,” Sandy Hook Promise said.
Hockley, co-founder and managing director of the organization, told Law&Crime Network host Jesse Weber about the possible warning signs of a school shooter. This could include someone being chronically socially isolated. This person perhaps cannot manage their emotions, lacks conflict resolution skills, overreacts to seemingly small things, have an obsession with weapons, or study other shootings and “try to emulate someone that they see as a hero in their eyes.”
She said she doesn’t want there to have to be a Sandy Hook Promise anymore.
“Honestly, I want to put my organization out of business,” she said. “I don’t want us to exist because I don’t want to have this need anymore.”
That need is more necessary than ever, with recent mass shootings at schools in Parkland, Florida, and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Then there are incidents involving adults in places like Thousand Oaks, California, and the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Federal investigators in Ohio said Monday that they stopped two unrelated plots.
Sandy Hook Elementary had to evacuate the school on Friday, the anniversary of the shooting, due to a bomb threat.
You can see the new PSA, and Hockley’s interview with The Law&Crime Network above. Learn more about Sandy Hook Promise at their website.
[Screengrab via Sandy Hook Promise]