Psychology of violent behavior

Psychology of violent behavior

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The reasoning behind what lead 26-year-old Devin Kelley to commit such violent acts as he did inside the church at Sutherland Springs, Texas is unknown at this point.

It's too early to point at any one specific reason, but here is what we do know, according to reports:

Kelley had a pattern of violence from the past. He served in the U.S. Air Force and was court-martialed back in 2012 for assaulting his wife and a child. He then served one year in confinement.

Two years later, he was discharged from the Air Force for bad conduct. This year he was terminated from his security job.

WDAM spoke with Dr. Geralyn Datz, a psychologist who specializes in behavioral medicine, about what could cause such violent behavior.

"Violent offenders are in their own category in a way," Datz said. "People with violent behaviors often have a history of child abuse. For example, they may have had other psychological diagnosis in childhood. Things like conduct disorder, oppositional defiant types of features. They may have had contact with the law, they may have a personality problem."

Dr. Datz said some people exposed to violent or traumatic events can, in some cases, cause them to become violent.

"It's hard to say what's going on with this particular individual, but there are clusters of risk factors that exist for people that can lead to violence," Datz said.