Boulder supermarkert shooting renews concerns about gun violence

WALPOLE, Mass. — After two mass shootings within a week, it has people thinking again about how it can happen anywhere. Francesca Abruzzese, who was shopping in Walpole, told Boston 25 News it’s a disgrace.

“Why do they shoot innocent people, working, minding their own business,” Abruzzese asked.

Boston 25 News sat down with Northeastern University’s criminology expert, Jack Levin, who has studied these killings for decades. The recent uptick this week, he said, is a vicious cycle.

“It is the copycat phenomenon: one happens and gives the idea to another,” Levin said.

Professor Levin said those types of crimes only seem like they decreased because people were not in public places or schools.

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“Now we are seeing what always happened. We are seeing more shootings, more guns being used in public places and yet the number of mass killings has remained constant,” Levin said.

Boston 25 News has reported on multiple classes where everyday citizens train on what to do if they are suddenly face-to-face with an active shooter. Walpole Police Chief John Carmichael said they have trained hundreds of residents on how to buy that extra time until help arrives.

“We train as many people as we can. We’ve trained our municipal officers, houses of worships,” Chief Carmichael said.

Police themselves have also trained non-stop on how to respond and eliminate the threat. But many of those programs were put on pause because of the pandemic.

“We are going to have to reignite that community awareness again, getting our officers out there and training people,” Chief Carmichael said.

Walpole Police said they still have been doing their active shooter training in the schools, even during the pandemic. However, because the students have been going in cohorts, they’ve had to double the number of training drills to make sure all of the students participate.