What motivates those who shoot at children? - KMOV.com


What motivates those who shoot at children?

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(KMOV.com) – Experts who study the motivations of violent criminals told News 4 retaliatory shootings take precedent over life in minds of many.

A criminology professor said such shootings leave children in the crossfire, such as the fatal shootings of 6-year-old Marcus Johnson and 9-year-old Jamyla Bolden.

“A need for personal respect outweighs a valuation of human life,” said Dr. Remy Cross with Webster University.

Cross said the shooters do have a sense of guilt, but not enough to make them stop committing violent acts.

“They have guilty but it’s not going to outweigh their sense of retribution, what they see as a street justice and their need to engage in these types of activities,” said Cross. “One gang member I spoke to said ‘it’s a war zone, if you don’t want to be caught in the war, don’t live in the war zone.”

Bolden’s mother said gunfire has become so common that her kids know what to do when shots ring out.

“I don’t want to say they’ve gotten used to it, but they knew about it. Our first instinct is to get down low or run to the basement,” Kendric Henderson said.

Experts said they are not sure what is behind the increase in violent crime.

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