The U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Department of Homeland Security have published Mass Attacks in Public Spaces – 2019, a report that examines targeted attacks during which three of more individuals were harmed that occurred in public or semi-public spaces last year. The report seeks to inform prevention efforts by presenting analyses of the tactics, backgrounds, and pre-attack behaviors of the perpetrators to identify and affirm best practices in making threat assessments. The authors emphasize that many people have significant roles to play in making threat assessments to help keep their organizations and communities safe, including workplace managers. They also underscore that understanding the key factors in preventing attacks is even more critical this year with the COVID-19 pandemic causing additional stressors.
One of the 34 attacks included in the report took place at a municipal building in Virginia Beach, Virginia. It resulted in the tragic loss of life among employees at the Department of Public Utilities and Department of Public Works. WaterISAC initially reported on this incident and provided resources to prevent, respond to, and recover from such attacks in its June 4, 2019 Security and Resilience Update.