Criminal Justice Faculty Publications and Presentations

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



•The increasing number of K-12 school violence incidents across the United States since the late 1990s seems to have only been mitigated in 2020 due to various “shelter in place” orders enacted since March requiring schools to switch to an “online format” in their teaching of students in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. •Although there have been actual “domestic acts of violence” witnessed by teachers in working with their students through online formats like Skype or Zoom. •Eventually, all students will return to the traditional classroom thus reviving the fears and concerns over violent attacks at and upon American schools. •The purpose of this presentation is to examine the “life-course” of Brendan Liam O'Rourke which led to the Kelly Elementary School playground shooting in Carlsbad, California, on October 8, 2010. •The “Life Course Perspective” is used in this study to understand how O’Rourke’s actions were pre-determined through the occurrence of certain life events (e.g., developmental and mental health issues). •His past will be examined by viewing his life before the violence in the context of life stages, turning points, and pathways (i.e., trajectories and transitions), all of which are embedded in the social institutions in which he lived and worked. •This individual will also be examined as a “non-associated school violence perpetrator” (a term recently coined by the authors). •The most unique aspect of this presentation involve candid commentary from the actual shooter in this incident, Brendan Liam O'Rourke.