Colleges and universities, their police chiefs and security directors should review their threat-assessment capacities because some of the conventional beliefs about campus violent attacks are not accurate, a new report issued by the federal government shows. For example, while much attention is given to the “traveling” attacker, such as the student who killed 32 students in a shooting spree at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007, only 3 percent of perpetrators of campus violence actually moved from building to building. Ever since 23-year-old shooter killed 32 students and wounded 17 at Virginia Tech, college leaders have been reviewing and improving their threat-assessment procedures and their ability to respond to a dangerous situation. They must reassess their approach, according to the new report, called “Campus Attacks: Targeted Violence Affecting Institutions of Higher Education,” which was just issued jointly by the U.S. Secret Service, the Education Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The study analyzed 272 acts of violence against specific targets on college campuses in 42 states and Washington D.C., from 1900 through 2008. The attacks resulted in 281 deaths, including 190 students and 72 employees. Another 247 people were injured in attacks on campuses, including 144 students and 35 employees. Most of the attacks were carried out by one person. About 94 percent of the perpetrators were male, and they had an average age of 28, the report said.

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