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Seeing the warning signs on social media

Authorities say the man in this photo is 36-year-old Gregory Westfall of Boise.

As authorities began investigating 36-year-old Gregory Westfall of Boise as the man behind Tuesday's shooting at a South Carolina pawn shop, they say there were troubling signs on social media of what he had been planning to do.

Several Facebook posts made by Westfall prior to the shooting seem to be about killing himself or others.

Westfall's Facebook has more than 1300 friends. However, local authorities say they were never once tipped off to any kind of threat.

"It's frustrating for us that we didn't hear about it before it happened," said Chief Deputy Cochran of the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office.

Melissa Blackwell, Co-Chair for the Suicide Prevention Action Network of Idaho said that's likely because often times people do not feel like it's their place to say something.

"If you're concerned and you think, 'oh, someone else will do something,' that bystander effect be very dangerous," said Blackwell. "I would encourage you to take on a help effect. Anytime you start to hear that surfacing, I would tune in and ask questions."

It's extremely important to call local law enforcement anytime someone appears to be a danger to themselves or others.

Authorities say they would much rather assess the situation and have it turn out to be nothing than to not hear about it and have it turn into something.

For further resources, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 1.800.273.8255 or visit www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

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