Mass shooting suspect’s mother reported to police before shooting: How to make your report count


SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – In the case of the suspected El Paso shooter, the family lawyer has reported that the man’s mother called for information because she felt that her 21-year-old was not “mature” enough to have a gun of that scale. She did not give them her son’s name.

While his gun may have been obtained legally, a more detailed report to police may have resulted in more investigation. 

Detective Ken Hansen with the Unified Police Department recommends using as much detail as you can when making a report. He says mental health professionals and incident management teams have a lot more training than we do when it comes to threat assessment. 

Hansen explained, “What we want is as much information as we can get in terms of why they purchased a weapon, what their plan is with that weapon, or if they’re being bullied.”

The idea of reporting might be daunting, especially when it concerns a family member, but Detective Hansen says that’s the best way to prevent harm. 

“I think the trust factor is the most important factor because if the community trusts you, they’re going to give you the information you need to make the community safer.”

Even if your report doesn’t result in a conviction or arrest, it could help in an investigation later on. 


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