Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics

Back to Index of Criminal Profiles

Motive Profile of Seattle Shooter Kyle Huff

Aubrey Immelman

March 2006

Excerpts from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:


When Kyle Huff opened fire on Capitol Hill [Seattle, March 25, 2006], gunning down six people before killing himself, he was likely seeking revenge, say criminologists and psychological profilers.

Mass murderers tend to be "loners" and "losers" who have been rejected and believe other people are to blame, experts say. Often they feel so hopeless they don't care about living anymore, but suicide isn't enough.

They want justice. In a big way.

"They're almost all a one-time incident. They plan well in advance, and they'll either kill themselves or die by suicide-by-cop," said Aubrey Immelman, a psychology professor at Minnesota's St. John's University.

"That's their final statement. They're not going to give anyone the satisfaction of prosecuting them."

Immelman profiled the killers of 12 fellow students and a teacher at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999. ...

The key to Huff's motives may be his victims, said Immelman, the Columbine author.

"Ask yourself why did he pick that particular group?" he said. "If these were people in the rave scene, that's where his anger was; that's where his resentment was."

Huff may have felt rejected by that group, Immelman said. There may be a long history of feeling ostracized and inadequate, and things escalated until "the anger is so great that they take others with them. It's suicide with a big statement." ...

Full Report

Huff was likely a 'loser' in search of revenge, experts say (By Phuong Cat Le, Hector Castro, and Mike Lewis, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, March 29, 2006)

Capitol Hill Massacre

Complete Coverage

Page maintained by Aubrey Immelman

Last updated November 24, 2007