Criminal justice professor claims recent shooting uncovers larger issue

Criminal justice professor claims recent shooting uncovers larger issue
Johnnie Jones, criminal justice professor at Southern University (Source: WAFB)

(WAFB) - The blank stare and the clasped hands are the most striking aspects of Dakota Theriot’s latest mugshot. The 21-year-old seemingly shows no remorse just hours after he allegedly gunned down his friend, her family, and his own parents.

Dakota Theriot, 21
Dakota Theriot, 21 (Source: Richmond County Sheriff's Office)

“We know what happened here. He killed five people, so this is a monster,” said Ascension Sheriff Bobby Webre.

The monstrous brutality he’s accused of unleashing over the weekend could be the worst crime he has ever been accused of, but is not his first run-in with authorities. The 21-year-old not only racked up prior drug charges, but according to court records, he may have had a history of violence. At one point, he was accused of throwing his ex-wife out of a window during a drunken rage. The accused killer has confessed to the heinous murders, according to police, but why he did it remains anyone’s guess.

"That motive is still unclear,” Webre added. “We don't know if we will ever have a motive exactly why this happened."

Johnnie Jones, criminal justice professor at Southern University, spent more than 20 years as a prison warden and says incidents like this have reached crisis level. He used this case as a prime example.

(Source: WAFB)

"To murder family members, there's something psychologically wrong with this individual," said Jones.

Jones believes part of the problem is people have simply gotten too comfortable with killings.

“That is a major problem and we have been desensitized to it,” he added. “We don’t seem to be alarmed, if you will, as much as we should be. It’s almost like well, you know, so what?”

According to the gun violence archive website, there have been 27 mass shootings already in the United States in the first month of 2019. More alarming than that, Jones says, is how unpredictable and how hard each one of the attacks can be to prevent. Jones points out those attacks also usually cannot be traced to just one specific cause.

“Human behavior is so complex that it defies, to a large extent, explanation,” said Jones.

The professor believes crimes like this latest one over the weekend will continue to happen unless some type of solution is identified.

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