Eastern Carolina experts share mental health, gun safety tips after school shooting

Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 6:13 PM EST
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CRAVEN COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - A school shooting in Michigan left several dead and injured when authorities say a 15-year-old opened fire at school with a gun his father recently bought.

North Carolina law enforcement officials are reminding parents how important it is to lock up guns. They also are advising parents to use tools like fingerprint safes to store firearms.

“There are a number of different methods for securing a firearm in your residence, which is required by law, so that when there are minors present, they don’t have access to a loaded firearm,” Major David McFadyen of the Craven County Sheriff’s Office said.

McFadyen is also encouraging the public to look for and report warning signs of troubling behavior, as Michigan authorities found threatening social media posts made before the shooting.

Mental health experts echo McFadyen’s message and ask parents to take control.

“I often find parents who have the attitude, that ‘well that’s private.’ Well no, it’s not really private because it’s your child and so you need to be engaged and know what they’re looking at and what they’re participating in,” Keith Hamm, Integrated Family Services mental health professional said.

Hamm also encourages parents to keep lines of communication open, especially if they notice behavioral changes.

“Some things to look out for would be, increased level of frustration, avoidance, the children trying to isolate themselves,” Hamm said.

Hamm said those signs could mean it is time to sit down and talk.

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