NEW YORK (FOX5NY.COM) - The average mass attacker in America is neither an ISIS terrorist nor a high school student with an assault weapon. What these killers did have in common in 2017: they were all men often dealing with symptoms of mental illness, according to a federal agency report.
Many of these attacks, 82 percent of which were carried out with guns, left the United States paralyzed last year. The U.S. Secret Service compiled 28 mass attack incidents, defined as onslaughts harming three or more people in public places.
On the list were several high-profile crimes, including when a gunman opened fire at a GOP congressional baseball practice in Virginia, wounded five people, and when a shooter killed 58 people and wounded 546 at a music festival in Las Vegas.
Several New York atrocities were also noted, such as when a man who drove his car into pedestrians in Times Square and the rental truck driver who killed eight people on a bike path in Lower Manhattan.
The Secret Service analyzed the people responsible and found that they were all men ranging in age from 15 to 66 (average of 37), about half had a history of illicit drug use and/or substance abuse, two-thirds had mental health symptoms, 70 percent had a history of criminal charges, and a third had been involved in domestic violence incidents.
Former FBI Special Agent Manny Gomez told Fox 5 that in the wake of the Parkland massacre, the report adds fuel to concerns about whether people with untreated mental health issues should have access to high-powered weapons.
While terror attacks get much of the attention, the study found that 25 percent of the incidents in 2017 were fueled by ideology or government conspiracies. In that category, the Secret Service study noted the white supremacist attack in Charlottesville and the truck attack in Manhattan carried out by a man who pledged allegiance to ISIS.