Wednesday, August 17

Boris Johnson resigns, Brittney Griner’s trial continues: 5 Things podcast

On today’s episode of the 5 Things podcast: Mass shooters are getting younger and deadlier

Domestic security correspondent Josh Meyer reports. Plus, the last abortion clinic in Mississippi closes, patient safety reporter Karen Weintraub updates us on promising pancreatic cancer treatment, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigns and the trial of basketball star Brittney Griner continues.

Podcast:True crime, in-depth interviews and more USA TODAY podcasts right here.

Hit play on the player above to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript below. This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current form. There may be some differences between the audio and the text.

Taylor Wilson:

Buenos dias. I’m Taylor Wilson and this is 5 Things you need to know Thursday, the 7th of July, 2022. Today, mass shooting suspects are getting younger. Plus more abortion clinics close, and more.

Here are some of the top headlines:

  1. The man charged with killing seven and injuring dozens at the Highland Park, Illinois 4th of July parade has confessed. Prosecutors say he also considered another attack in Wisconsin.
  2. Utah’s Great Salt Lake has hit a record low level for the second time in less than a year. It’s part of historic drought conditions made worse by climate change across the Western United States.
  3. The first bull run in three years is in the books in Pamplona, ​​Spain. No one was gored in this year’s event.

Mass shooting suspects are getting younger and deadlier. 5 Things producer, PJ Elliott spoke with USA TODAY Domestic Security Correspondent Josh Meyer to find out more.

Josh Mayer:

This is a relatively new phenomenon. It’s been happening for 20 years or more since the Columbine shooting in 1999. But this year alone, we’ve had two shooters who had just turned 18 in Buffalo and in Uvalde, Texas. Then now you have this shooter in Highland Park, just outside of Chicago, who was 21. They’re getting younger. Authorities believe they’re getting more frequent and they’re getting deadlier.

PJ Elliott:

What do experts have to say about possible reasons for these young people carrying out the attacks?

Josh Mayer:

There’s a lot of reasons that experts say this is happening. Some of them are doing it out of a perverse desire to make a difference in the world. Others are driven by mental illness, social media influences that turn them into hateful and sadistic monsters, according to some of these experts. One of them is pandemic isolation, that people are really cooped up, isolated and don’t have places to turn to outlets for their frustration and anger.

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PJ Elliott:

Is there any difference between a younger person who carries out a mass shooting attack and an older person?

Josh Mayer:

And it is. In fact, that’s a very good question. There are a lot of differences. I mean, a time was when almost all of the mass shooters were people that had workplace issues, people that had been fired or demoted or had issues at work and would go there and shoot them up. But now it’s younger people and they’re very media-savvy, very tech-savvy. They spend a lot of time on social media, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, a lot of those different platforms and they are leaving a digital trail. The problem is finding it, as one former FBI agent told me, “You can’t really find it, it’s much worse than a needle in the haystack. The Internet,” she said, “Is as wide as the sands across the entire world and very deep, so it’s very hard to find what they’re doing.”

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