Think About it -- Deadly Force Incident Study Update

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Being hostage to an angry gunman in 1996 changed the trajectory of my life. I considered myself a business professional in the realm of commercial construction up to that moment. Being the single wage earner with a wife and family, we needed reliable income. With a good job (and an entrepreneur on the side with a growing business), my focus was on a prosperous career. 

That focus changed.

It wasn’t the instant turning of a switch; there were still things to finish in my day job. But something had changed in my calling and career path.

I needed to see what the risks were associated with churches and faith-based organizations. The more I researched, the more I saw one particular risk that nobody (at that time, in 1999) was talking about.

I was seeing serious violent incidents at church and para-church ministries. It challenged not only my career path, buy my personal theology (God will protect us) and comfort zones (stay with what you know).

I didn’t like security or want to do it. But it continued to draw me in. Applying construction practicality (clear guidelines, in the form of drawings and specifications, are needed to build with excellence), I began developing guidelines for a detailed study to conduct. 

I was hearing of other studies emerging about “active shooters” and “hate crimes.” I understand why some study those sub-categories of violence. But to get too deep into a sub-category of violence leaves the critical measures of root problems ignored. It skews the logic of effective prevention and response. 

So, in 1999 I laid out the inaugural perimeters of a study of deadly force incidents associated with faith-based organizations in the United States. If a potential or real homicide or suicide happened at a faith-based organization or was carried out by or against the senior pastor or leader of a ministry, I logged it and extracted applicable criteria from that incident.

Little did I know I was studying something I would again be involved in.


Think About it.

That study is now owned and published by the FBSN at

The team that manages that study have recently completed the data for the year 2020. So now, the data is extracted from 2,361 incidents that occurred in those 22 years.

Those 2,361 incidents resulted in 1,047 violent deaths. Go to the site to read all the other meaningful data.

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