Regional News

More police refusing to name shooters for fear of copycats

A sheriff's decision not to identify a man who killed nine people at a rural Oregon community college reflects a growing trend among law enforcement not to say the names of mass shooters.

Some police officials say immediately revealing the names glorifies those responsible for horrific crimes and encourages copycats. Some criminologists worry that withholding names will make it harder to access a mass killer's motivations.

Pete Blair of Texas State University's Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center says shooters inspire each other and police are right not to put them in the spotlight. He pointed to a recent study suggesting mass shootings that get widespread media attention are contagious.

But Kelly McBride, an expert in media ethics, said knowing the name is key to understanding the crime.

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