Is there a link between CTE and mass shootings? Let our expert explain

Apr 21, 2023

2 min

Wayne Hulon

This spring news of mass shootings has dominated the headlines almost weekly with stories of tragedy in Michigan, Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama.

To date, there have been an estimated 160 mass-shootings in America this year. 

In the wake of each tragedy, Americans are left asking 'How this could happen?' and 'Why did this happen?'

In the case of the April 10 shooting in Louisville, the parents of the gunman are also seeking answers as they claim prior trauma and CTE may have played some part in the shooter's actions and motivation.

It's a theory that's getting a lot of attention from doctors and journalists.

The family of Connor Sturgeon – who was killed after he fatally shot five people Monday morning at the Old National Bank in Louisville, Kentucky – plans to have his brain tested for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, commonly known as CTE, his father and a spokesperson for the family told CNN on Thursday.

“Yes, Connor is being tested for CTE. Probably will take a while to get results,” Todd Sturgeon, Connor Sturgeon’s father, texted to CNN.

Pete Palmer, a family friend who is speaking for the Sturgeons, said the family and the state medical examiner are looking to have Connor Sturgeon’s brain tested.  April 14 - CNN

There's a lot to know when reporting on CTE, especially when it involves the potential links to tragedy and a mass shooting.

And that's where clinical experts can help and make sure reporters have the details, terminology and facts correct when covering such important topics.

With over 40 years of clinical practice, Wayne Hulon is an American Board Certified Psychotherapist, and is also recognized by the State of Georgia as a Licensed Professional Counselor. In addition to his private practice, Wayne serves as a member of the American College of Psychotherapy and is currently serving as its Executive Director.

Wayne is available to speak with media regarding this subject - simply click on his icon now to arrange an interview today.

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Wayne Hulon

Wayne Hulon

Executive Director

In addition to his private practice, Wayne Hulon is privileged to serve as the Executive Director of the American College of Psychotherapy.

Concussions and mental healthLight TherapyNeuroscience and the judicial systemDevelopmental Trauma & ViolencePsychotherapy