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UMD Intervention Team Could Have Prevented Murder-Suicide

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A mentally ill student shot two people last week, killing one, before turning the gun on himself.
Armando Trull
A mentally ill student shot two people last week, killing one, before turning the gun on himself.

University of Maryland leaders are encouraging students and faculty to make use of the school's threat assessment program following last week's fatal off-campus shooting.

The program is called Behavior Evaluation and Threat Assessment, or BETA for short. The BETA Team, is designed as an early intervention unit for any student thought to be chronically disruptive, or threatening.

"We kind of act as that connect the dots body to identify somebody who might be an issue, or comes to our attention as a potential issue," says Capt. Robert Mueck, with the university's Department of Public Safety.

Last week's off campus murder-suicide was committed by a student, a diagnosed schizophrenic who had two weapons in his possession. The incident raised questions by some who wonder why the team was not aware the student might be a potential threat. Capt. Mueck says that for the program to work, they need students to report unusual behavior.

"Had somebody come forward to us and given us that information, there's a chance that he would have come onto our radar screen, then we could have looked at the individual and maybe preformed some kind of intervention.

Published reports claim the roommates knew Green had at least one gun he purchased legally. Capt. Muck admits that while legal possession of a firearm is not necessarily an indictment by itself, posession of a gun off or on campus should always raise concern.

"Weapons, big red flag," he says. "There are no weapons allowed on campus. Off campus state laws prevail but that should still be a red flag."

The team is made up of staff from the schools department of mental health, and the Department of Public Safety.

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