PINEVILLE, WV (WOAY) – You may find it hard to believe, but in the past month, there have been almost 50 mass shootings in the United States.
For local law enforcement, these numbers are a devastating reminder of how just how fragile their relationships can be with the public.
“It makes you concerned, what the public thinks about this activity,” said Wyoming County Sheriff Bradley Ellison.
In the last week alone, eight people gunned down in Indianapolis, 10 shot dead in a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado two weeks ago. Three dead in Austin, Texas and just this morning, a seven-year old girl fatally shot at a McDonald’s drive-through in Chicago.
“It’s concerning over what society is going through now,” Ellison said.
The Indianapolis shooting happened at a FedEx facility allegedly at the hands of a former employee. In Austin, authorities say the alleged shooter knew his victims. Ellison says understanding motive is important to raising awareness regarding these incidents.
“What I would like to hope the authorities find is motive,” Ellison said. “What was the reasoning behind this?”
Ellison oversees more than 20 deputies in his department. The strength of that relationship is more important than ever with the frequency at which these mass shootings are happening. In Austin, the alleged shooter was a former Sheriff’s Deputy.
“You have to be involved,” Ellison said. “You have to be a family.”