Experts: Alert authorities when someone threatens violence - 8 News NOW

Experts: Alert authorities when someone threatens violence

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LAS VEGAS -- As people are mourning two officers and a heroic bystander, many are wondering what caused the two shooters to turn to violence.

Investigators say there are always clues that can identify a potentially dangerous person and you may have the tools to stop them before something happens.

While it's going to be different for every person, investigators say listen closely and trust your gut.

Kelly Fielder, a friend and roommate of Jerad and Amanda Miller, says she heard Jerad Miller making outright threats to kill police officers and what he would do to their bodies.

"He said that he was gonna put swastikas on each one that he killed," Fielder said.

She didn't take him seriously.

“He said that, the morning that he left, that's when he told me, but I didn't know that he was actually gonna do it,” Fielder said.

Those in law enforcement say people behind mass shootings leave clues. Ones you can sometimes help identify.

"People don't just snap,” former FBI investigator Dave Shepherd said, "Are they kidding when they say something? Or are they just throwing it out there because they really believe it?”

Shepherd says when people speak of actually harming or killing another person, believe them.

"They are disbelieving what's going on. Did they really say that? Do they really have problems going on?" Shepherd said.

Shepherd says people often don't think their loved ones, neighbors or co- workers are capable of violence.

Video released by the Department of Homeland Security shows a simulation of workplace violence that leads to a mass shooting.

Shepherd says many times people are afraid to speak up about someone who was once considered "a nice guy."

After a shooting, Shepherd says Metro could get hundreds of phone calls reporting potential threats. Most of them will lead to nothing.

He says let officers figure out if a threat is real, and often, you can report things anonymously.

"’If only I would have said this, if only I would have done that,’ You want to do it before, so there's not going to be people that you're thinking you could have helped,” Shepherd said.

“I wish I would have called the cops,” Fielder said.

Shepherd says it is hard to be totally sure of when a threat, said out loud or posted online, can lead to actual violence, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

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