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Mass shootings: Security expert weighs in

December 16, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
In the aftermath of the Newtown school shooting, a security expert discusses what, if anything, could have prevented it.

Adam Lanza is accused of killing 27 people in Newtown, Conn. on Friday. His mother, six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary and 20 innocent young school children died in the shooting rampage.

See portraits of the victims lost in Newtown shooting

Heartache and shock have spread across the globe. Many are asking, could anything more have been done to save lives?

Former law enforcement officer and current security and risk assessment specialist Joe Petrillo says, no.

"I think the school was very secure from what I've been able to identify. It had a lockdown procedure already in place so the suspect actually broke into the school," said Petrillo, adding that many schools in California do not have such measures in place.

Petrillo said the answer isn't added security guards or stricter gun control laws. Reportedly, the guns Lanza used were legally registered and possibly owned by his mother.

Petrillo says the key is prevention. He sees several similarities between Newtown and the horrific school shooting in Columbine in 1999 when two students killed 12 of their classmates and a teacher before committing suicide.

"All of the school shootings have resulted in individuals that had a relationship with the school or a relationship with a person at the school," Petrillo said.

He encourages local city leaders and school administration to educate and train staff to notice a problem personality.

"We have to work with law enforcement, we have to work with medical professionals and security experts and we have to develop a profile of individuals and identify individuals. It's like identifying the bomber rather than looking for the bomb," he said.

Only then, can such tragedies be prevented.

See photos from the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut


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