I’m gonna make this post real simple.
What an active shooter bulletin should look like on informative news outlets:
A suspect opened fire at (facility, event, etc.) in (town), (state) today at approximately (time). X human beings were struck. Their names and stories will be released following notification of the families. Police response was bold and immediate. EMS response was bold and immediate. As always, acts of courage, resilience, and healing will be our focus in the coming hours and days as facts are gathered and confirmed.
The suspect was apprehended (alive/dead) and is in (custody/the morgue awaiting identification). For purposes of closure and newsworthiness, a motive and the procedures and results of the justice process will be published as the facts of the events are gathered and confirmed. An investigation has been undertaken to determine if the suspect has accomplices, how he garnered his weapons, and as to whether there is any future danger to the public, and what needs to be done to prevent this event from reoccurring in any capacity. We will publish this relevant information as it is confirmed.
So yeah, neutral words. Don’t glorify the suspect. Don’t make them out to be Mark Wahlberg in Shooter. Now let’s take a look at what a current news article looks like on an American shooting:
X opened a cascading thunderous downpour of hell and fire with booming automatic weapons on a crowd of screaming, horrified innocent bystanders yesterday around (time) at (location). His weapon of choice was an Armalite AR-15, glossy black, with a custom grip, picatinny rails for a modified scope, and a cute little insignia with initials of the shooter on the butt of the lightweight, yet efficient assault weapon.
The shooter was born in (location) on (date). He’s described as (height, weight, skin color, hair color, eye color, blood type, ethnicity, noticeable tattoos, moles, angle of cheekbones, circumference of eyeballs, favorite sushi restaurant). He’s an avid enthusiast of backgammon, enjoys a good bowl of Corn Flakes in the morning, and has a pet goldfish named Tu-tu. We will link the shooter’s ancestry.com geneology report as soon as we can. Neighbors describe him as a really good guy and all we want to know is, what made him be not good no mores?
The shooter was subdued when six SWAT members violently crushed in the door with a dynamic hammer, flooded the room and engaged the devilish ruffian in rapid, adrenaline-inducing gun gra ta ta. Bullets flew in a firefight whose carnage could only be measured on a cinematic scale. Think Armageddon meets Independence Day meets Taken 3 meets Rambo 8. Back and forth, pa-chew, pa-chew, and finally, gotcha! The shooter was down.
Authorities are still determining if this was racially motivated, a loner wolf, or just “Muslims being Muslims”. We’re not sure yet but we’ll speculate throughout the day and flood your social medias with varying accounts. One of them is bound to be true in the end.
Also, since we’re sensitive, we’ll wait two to four hours before politicizing the event and dividing the country, so we’re shored up for content for the next two to four weeks before a natural disaster or world crises turns the news cycle over for us. If the shooter has a decently marketable face, we may even let him be on the cover of Rolling Stone.
See the difference. Am I even exaggerating? Then again, wouldn’t America get bored without such compelling drama?