DETROIT (WWJ) – A double shooting at a Macomb County business that police say stems from an ongoing workplace dispute ends with one man dead, another injured and the question of bullying in the workplace at the center of the conversation.
The brother of the suspect in the shooting says he “snapped” after vicious and racist bullying at the workplace.
Birmingham psychiatrist Dr. Gerald Sheiner says workplace bullying can create a feeling of helpless on the part of the victim, especially if the bullying is done by someone in a superior position.
Many people, he says, may fantasize about harming those who bully them.
“For every 10 or 15 or 20 people who say that, or think that or fantasize about it – one or two people might actually go forward and do it. It doesn’t mean you’ve lost touch with reality but it means you’ve given up a degree of self control – where you’ve had all you can take,” says Sheiner.
He says workplace shooters usually tend to men because they are taught to ‘be a man’ and can find it harder to tolerate being made to feel vulnerable and helpless.
“So I can make you do this – there is no one to help you and there’s nothing you can do about it and that helpless feeling is the most … intolerable and that’s what makes us the most uncomfortable and you can see what people do when they get desperate under these kinds of circumstances,” notes Sheiner.
Everyone has a breaking point he says — and “we’re finding that people are getting tested to their limits.”
Sheiner believes easier access to firearms is contributing to the problem.