Expert Discusses What Causes Teenagers to Kill
By AUNDREA CLINE-THOMAS
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Phil Chalmers calls himself America's leading authority on juvenile homicide.
"I call this generation, ‘generation death.' When they have a problem they either kill themselves or kill someone else that's just how they deal with it," he said.
Chalmers approach is very in your face as he discusses the mindset of a teen killer. He's personally interviewed more than 200.
"A lot of the school shooters I interviewed said they wanted to be famous. They told me if they killed some people they would be."
More than 100 law enforcement officers and school leaders gathered at the Tennessee District Attorney's General Conference to learn more.
"We'd like to learn more about how to identify students who may be troubled," William Slater, Headmaster at Hendersonville Christian Academy said. Slater brought his entire security team.
"Fifteen (or) twenty years ago you just wouldn't even think that you'd have to go and that you'd have to really take a law enforcement mindset when it comes to a small private Christian school," Slater said.
"The top three causes of teen murder are (an) unstable home, (bullying) at school, a fascination or obsess(ion) with violent entertainment and suicide or (being) suicidal," Chalmers said.
Chalmers say most of the shooters are boys. The murders are planned, with details written in a journal.
"The President and Congress need to fund an installation of a police officer in every school in America. It's going to be very, very costly," Chalmers suggests.
It's just one solution to a growing problem. Another is for everyone to be more aware of what to look for and not take any of the warning signs for granted.
Phil Chalmers is not in law enforcement. He came from an unstable home, with a violent father and wanted to work with troubled teens. He first started with incarcerated youth- and now travels across the country speaking to students and adults.