Quantico Shooting Leaves 3 Dead
Motive Unknown in Workplace Tragedy
Download and review Firestorm’s Workplace Violence Whitepaper to assure your organization is on the right path to protecting your employees.
A Marine killed a male and female colleague in a shooting at a base in northern Virginia before killing himself, officials said early Friday.
Authorities were called to the scene at Marine Corps Base Quantico around 10:30 p.m. Thursday, where they found one Marine dead at a barracks, base commander Col. David W. Maxwell told reporters.
Authorities later found a second victim dead, along with the body of the suspected gunman, who died of self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Whether workplace violence stems from a current or former employee, an unknown assailant, or an employee’s spouse, many incidents are foreseeable and/or preventable. However, management is often untrained and ill-equipped to recognize a developing situation and therefore unable to take appropriate action.
Type 1: Violent acts by criminals, who have no other connection with the workplace, but enter to commit robbery or another crime.
- Type 1: These acts account for the vast majority of workplace homicides. In these incidents, the motive is usually theft, and in a great many cases, the criminal is carrying a gun or other weapon, increasing the likelihood that the victim will be killed or seriously wounded.
- Preventive strategies for Type 1 include an emphasis on physical security measures, special employer policies, and employee training.
- The response after a crime has occurred will involve the usual law enforcement procedures for investigating, finding and arresting the suspect, and collecting evidence for prosecution.
Type 2: Violence directed at employees by customers for whom the company provides services.
- Type 2: In general, these verbal threats, threatening behavior or physical assaults are committed by an assailant who either receives services from or is under the custodial supervision of the affected workplace or the victim. Assailants can be current or former customers/clients such as passengers, patients, students, criminal suspects or prisoners.
- The customer/client may be provoked when s/he becomes frustrated by delays or by the denial of benefits or services.
- Violent reactions by a customer may be unpredictable, triggered by an argument, or anger at the quality of service or denial of service, delays, or some other precipitating event.
Type 3: Violence committed by someone that has employment-related involvement with the company.
- Type 3: These verbal threats, threatening behavior or physical as assaults are committed by an assailant who has some employment-related involvement with the workplace – a current or former employee, supervisor/manager, for example. In committing a threat or assault, the individual may be seeking revenge for what is perceived as unfair treatment.
- This type of violence can usually be divided into two sub-types: violence between supervisors/managers and subordinates, and violence between co-workers or peers.
- Violence in this category usually comes with a much greater chance that some warning signs will have reached the employer in the form of observable behavior. That knowledge, along with the appropriate prevention programs, can mitigate the potential for violence or prevent it altogether.
Type 4: Violence committed by someone with whom the victim has a personal relationship.
- Type 4: These assaults involve verbal threats, threatening behavior or physical assaults by an assailant who, in the workplace or on workplace property, confronts an individual with whom s/he has or had a personal relationship outside of work. Personal relations include a current or former spouse, lover, relative, friend or acquaintance.
- The assailant’s actions are motivated by perceived difficulties in the relationship or by psycho-social factors that are specific to the assailant. This category includes victims of domestic violence, assaulted or threatened, while at work.
Although workplace violence can often be unforeseen, it may often be the ultimate outcome of continued issues involving employees and/or management, or domestic issues that seep into the workplace.
There are steps to take to prevent workplace violence and to protect employees. Having a system to report workplace violence threats, or tell-tale signs of such is one way that organizations can intervene before a situation culminates into full violent incident. Eliminating violence in the workplace before it happens should be a top priority for every executive, manager and team leader. Organizations should establish a workplace violence policy as part of their overall Business Continuity Programs.
Preventing violence calls for more than a routine or standard approach. Organizations and working conditions will vary from one company to another, as will the risks and challenges to employee safety. Not all organizations will have the same resources, and not all management teams will have the same knowledge and experience on violence issues. That being said every organization should have general principles to guide your organization toward a successful approach to workplace violence prevention. Download and review Firestorm’s Workplace Violence Whitepaper to assure your organization is on the right path to protecting your employees.