Winston-Salem, NC -- Crisis officials, including first responders from across North Carolina and Virginia gathered in a Winston-Salem auditorium Friday to for a training workshop about mass shootings.
This comes in the wake of the shooting several mass shootings across the country recently: Aurora, CO where a gunman shot and killed 12 people and Oak Creek Wisconsin where six died after a shooter barged into a Sikh temple.
The most recent shooting was on Friday at a New Jersey supermarket. The gunman killed two people and himself.
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"It is always easy to do the hindsight and when we look back that really stands out, but we do know in all these incidents, all the way back to columbine and before there was all kinds of warning and issues prior to the incident happening," said August Vernon, Forsyth County Emergency Management.
In addition to the list of recent mass shootings, there have been 27 people killed in mass shootings here in North Carolina since the late 80's.
Rick Amme, president of Amme & Associate was at the four-hour training. He teaches companies about managing crisis.
"If you're running an institution, put as much effort as possible into identifying the threats," he said.
According to the Forsyth County Office of Emergency Management, there were 180 trainees at the workshop and they included law enforcement officers, investigators, school/college officials and soldiers from across the region and the state.
Carla Brown, a social worker in the Forsyth County School District says the most revealing thing she learned was that mass shooters are not easily identifiable. "Whether it's a child, a student, there's no one profile that fits."
Vernon told the group that the idea that most mass shooters are mentally unstable is also not accurate.
"We do ourselves an injustice, that's the only answer we can come up with: 'well, this person was crazy." a lot of them are not," he said.
The trainees News 2 spoke with said they know realistically they can't prevent all mass shootings, but the goal is to prevent those that can be prevented and react more effectively once a crisis is in progress.
Vernon also taught the group that mass shooters are "injustice collectors," people who want to exact revenge.
"You can't learn enough to try to prevent that kind of thing from happening and if that's going to be the case then you can't then you can't go to enough of these gatherings and learn what you need to know," said Amme.