The Media does contribute to the problem even if they don’t sensationalize the story because they affirm the notion that it will get attention. So attacks are attention seeking behavior. The Media does have an obligation to cover the event. Some do it better than others.
Warning signs, who can say. Each case is unique. Don’t let people become isolated, keep the dialog going, don’t let things get bottled up. Defuse.
People start shit all the time. Early in my career I noticed that the culture was not to pick on the weak or easily offended. The BS was limited to the top dogs. Ok, some sensitive people were pranked but it was generally frowned upon. If you got pranked it was a badge of honor, a rite of passage, a sign of acceptance. Times have changed. Probably for the better but back then we could take a joke.