Appendix for Homicides of American Indians/Alaska Natives — National Violent Death Reporting System, United States, 2003–2018
Surveillance Summaries / November 19, 2021 / 70 (8);1–19
Appendix : Circumstances preceding homicide — National Violent Death Reporting System
Mental health/substance use
- Current depressed mood: decedent was perceived by self or others to be feeling depressed at the time of death.
- Current diagnosed mental health problem: decedent was identified as having a mental health disorder or syndrome listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth Version (DSM-5), with the exception of alcohol and other substance dependence (these are captured in separate variables).
- Current mental health treatment: decedent was receiving mental health treatment as evidenced by a current prescription for a psychotropic medication, visit or visits to a mental health professional, or participation in a therapy group within the previous 2 months.
- History of ever being treated for mental health problem: decedent was identified as having ever received mental health treatment.
- Alcohol problem: decedent was perceived by self or others to have a problem with, or to be addicted to, alcohol.
- Substance use problem (excludes alcohol): decedent was perceived by self or others to have a problem with, or be addicted to, a substance other than alcohol.
- Other addiction: decedent was perceived by self or others to have an addiction other than to alcohol or other substance (e.g., gambling or sex).
- Family relationship problem: decedent was experiencing problems with a family member, other than an intimate partner.
- Intimate partner violence–related: incident is related to conflict between current or former intimate partners; includes the death of an intimate partner or nonintimate partner (e.g., child, parent, friend, or law enforcement officer) killed in an incident that originated in a conflict between intimate partners.
- Jealousy (lovers’ triangle): jealousy or distress over an intimate partner’s relationship or suspected relationship with another person.
- Other relationship problem (nonintimate): decedent was experiencing problems with a friend or associate (other than an intimate partner or family member).
- Victim of interpersonal violence during previous month: decedent was the target of interpersonal violence during the past month.
- Perpetrator of interpersonal violence during previous month: decedent perpetrated interpersonal violence during the previous month.
- Argument or conflict: a specific argument or disagreement led to the victim’s death.
- Crisis during previous or upcoming 2 weeks: current crisis or acute precipitating event or events that either occurred during the previous 2 weeks or was impending in the following 2 weeks (e.g., a trial for a criminal offense begins the following week) and appeared to have contributed to the death. Crises typically are associated with specific circumstance variables (e.g., family relationship problem was a crisis).
- History of child abuse/neglect: as a child, decedent had history of physical, sexual, or psychological abuse; physical (including medical or dental), emotional, or educational neglect; exposure to a violent environment, or inadequate supervision by a caretaker.
- Physical fight (two persons, not a brawl): a physical fight between two persons that resulted in the death of the decedent, who was either involved in the fight, a bystander, or trying to stop the fight.
Crime and criminal activity
- Drug involvement: drug dealing, drug trade, or illicit drug use.
- Gang related: incident resulted from gang activity or gang rivalry; not used if the decedent was a gang member and the death did not appear to result from gang activity.
- Precipitated by another crime: incident occurred as the result of another serious crime.
- Nature of crime: the specific type of other crime that occurred during the incident. Examples include the following:
- Arson: to unlawfully and intentionally damage, or attempt to damage, any building, real estate, or personal property by fire or incendiary device.
- Assault or homicide: an unlawful fatal or nonfatal attack by one person upon another. To qualify as a serious crime, the assault should be an aggravated assault (one that involves bodily injury or threat with a deadly weapon).
- Burglary: the unlawful entry into a building or other structure without the owner’s consent and with the intent to commit a felony or a theft.
- Drug trade: the buying, selling, or passing of drugs from one person to another in exchange for goods or money.
- Robbery: taking, or attempting to take, anything of value from another person or persons by force or threat of force or violence.
- Rape or sexual assault: a sexual act that is committed or attempted by another person without freely given consent of the victim or against someone who is unable to consent or refuse.
- Crime in progress: another serious crime was in progress at the time of the incident.
- Terrorist attack: decedent was injured in a terrorist attack, leading to death.
- Brawl: mutual physical fight involving three or more persons.
- Caretaker abuse/neglect led to death: decedent was experiencing physical, sexual, or psychological abuse; physical (including medical or dental), emotional, or educational neglect; exposure to a violent environment; or inadequate supervision by a caretaker that led to death.
- Drive-by shooting: suspect drove near the decedent and fired a weapon while driving.
- Hate crime: decedent was selected intentionally because of decedent’s actual or perceived gender, religion, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, or disability.
- Justifiable self-defense: decedent was killed by a law enforcement officer in the line of duty or by a civilian in legitimate self-defense or in defense of others.
- Mentally ill suspect: suspect’s attack on decedent was believed to be the direct result of a mental illness.
- Mercy killing: decedent wished to die because of a terminal or hopeless disease or condition, and documentation indicates that the decedent wanted to be killed.
- Prostitution: prostitution or related activity that includes prostitutes, pimps, clients, or others involved in such activity.
- Random violence: decedent was killed in a random act of violence (i.e., an act in which the suspect is not concerned with who is being harmed, just that someone is being harmed).
- Stalking: pattern of unwanted harassing or threatening tactics by either the decedent or suspect.
- Victim was a bystander: decedent was not the intended target in the incident (e.g., pedestrian walking past a gang fight).
- Victim was an intervener assisting a crime victim: decedent was attempting to assist a crime victim at the time of the incident (e.g., a child attempts to intervene and is killed while trying to assist a parent who is being assaulted).
- Victim was a police officer on duty: decedent was a law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty.
- Victim used a weapon: decedent used a weapon to attack or defend during the course of the incident.
- Walk-by assault: decedent was killed by a targeted attack (e.g., ambush) after which the suspect fled on foot.
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