Mass shootings in the United States

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The 2017 Las Vegas shooting that killed 60 people is the deadliest mass shooting in American history

Mass shootings are events where there are many victims of firearm-related violence.[1][2][3] There is no exact definition for a "mass shooting", however one definition is an act of public firearm violence—not including gang killings, domestic violence, or terrorist acts by an organization—in which a shooter kills at least four victims. With this definition, one study found that about one-third of the world's public mass shootings between 1966 and 2012 (90 of 292 events) happened in the United States.[4] The Washington Post recorded 163 mass shootings in the United States between 1967 and June 2019.[5]

The United States has had more mass shootings than any other country.[6][7][8][9][10] Shooters generally either die by suicide afterward, or are arrested or killed by police officers or civilians.[11]

Mass shootings are responsible for under 0.2% of homicides in the country between 2000 and 2016.[12]

According to a March 2022 report, over mass shootings in the last 40 years, in 52% of mass shootings in the United States the shooter was white, 16% were African American, and 8% were Latino.[13]

List of deadliest mass shootings since 1949[change | change source]

Incident Year Location Deaths Injuries Type of firearm(s) used Ref(s)
1 Las Vegas shooting 2017 Paradise, Nevada 60 (plus 1 perp.)[fn 1] 867 (411 from gunfire) Semi-automatic rifles (some outfitted with bump stocks), bolt-action rifle, and revolver [14][15][16]
2 Orlando nightclub shooting dagger 2016 Orlando, Florida 49 (plus 1 perp.) 58 (53 from gunfire) Semi-automatic rifle and pistol [14][15]
3 Virginia Tech shooting dagger 2007 Blacksburg, Virginia 32 (plus 1 perp.) 23 (17 from gunfire) Semi-automatic pistols [14]
4 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting 2012 Newtown, Connecticut 27 (plus 1 perp.) 2 Semi-automatic rifle, bolt-action rifle, and pistol [14]
5 Sutherland Springs church shooting 2017 Sutherland Springs, Texas 26 (plus 1 perp.)[fn 2] 22 Semi-automatic rifle [15][17]
6 Luby's shooting dagger 1991 Killeen, Texas 23 (plus 1 perp.) 27 Semi-automatic pistols [14]
7 El Paso Walmart shooting 2019 El Paso, Texas 23[fn 3] 23 Semi-automatic rifle [18][19][20]
8 San Ysidro McDonald's massacre dagger 1984 San Diego, California 21 (plus 1 perp.) 19 Semi-automatic carbine, pistols, and shotgun [14]
Robb Elementary School shooting 2022 Uvalde, Texas 21 (plus 1 perp.) 16 Semi-automatic pistol, unused rifle [21][22]
10 University of Texas tower shooting dagger 1966 Austin, Texas 17 (plus 1 perp.)[fn 2][fn 4] 31 Bolt-action rifle, semi-automatic carbine, revolver, semi-automatic pistols, and pump-action shotgun [14]
Stoneman Douglas High School shooting 2018 Parkland, Florida 17 17 Semi-automatic rifle [23]
12 Fort Hood shooting 2009 Killeen, Texas 14[fn 2] 32 (plus 1 perp.) Semi-automatic pistol and revolver [24][25]
13 San Bernardino attack 2015 San Bernardino, California 14 (plus 2 perps.) 24 Semi-automatic rifles [14][15]
14 Edmond post office shooting 1986 Edmond, Oklahoma 14 (plus 1 perp.) 6 Semi-automatic pistols [14]
15 Columbine High School massacre 1999 Columbine, Colorado 13 (plus 2 perps.) 24 (21 from gunfire) Semi-automatic carbine, semi-automatic pistol, and shotguns [26]
16 Binghamton shooting 2009 Binghamton, New York 13 (plus 1 perp.) 4 Semi-automatic pistols [27]
17 Camden shootings dagger 1949 Camden, New Jersey 13 3 Semi-automatic pistol [28][29]
18 Wilkes-Barre shootings 1982 Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 13 1 Semi-automatic rifle [30][31][32]
Wah Mee massacre 1983 Seattle, Washington 13 1 Semi-automatic pistol(s) and/or revolver(s)[fn 5] [33]
20 Aurora theater shooting 2012 Aurora, Colorado 12 70 (58 from gunfire) Semi-automatic rifle, pistol, and shotgun [34][15][35]
21 Thousand Oaks shooting 2018 Thousand Oaks, California 12 (plus 1 perp.)[fn 6] 16 (1 from gunfire) Semi-automatic pistol [36][37]
22 Washington Navy Yard shooting 2013 Washington, D.C. 12 (plus 1 perp.) 8 (3 from gunfire) Semi-automatic pistol and shotgun [38][39]
23 Virginia Beach shooting 2019 Virginia Beach, Virginia 12 (plus 1 perp.) 4 Semi-automatic pistols [40]
24 Pittsburgh synagogue shooting 2018 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 11 6 (plus 1 susp.) Semi-automatic rifle and pistols [41]
25 Easter Sunday Massacre 1975 Hamilton, Ohio 11 0 Semi-automatic pistols and revolver [42]
26 Santa Fe High School shooting 2018 Santa Fe, Texas 10 13 (plus 1 susp.) Shotgun and revolver [43]
27 Geneva County shootings 2009 Geneva County, Alabama 10 (plus 1 perp.) 6 Semi-automatic rifles, revolver, and shotgun [44][45]
28 Buffalo shooting 2022 Buffalo, New York 10 3 Semi-automatic rifle [46]
29 Boulder shooting 2021 Boulder, Colorado 10 1 (plus 1 susp.)[fn 7] Semi-automatic pistols [47][48]
30 Palm Sunday massacre 1984 Brooklyn, New York 10 0 Semi-automatic pistols [49]

Notes[change | change source]

  1. including 2 victims who died due to complications in 2019 and 2020
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 The fatality total includes an unborn child.
  3. including 1 victim who died due to complications in 2020
  4. plus 1 victim who died due to complications in 2001 (35 years later)
  5. During the massacre, the perpetrators used three .22 caliber handguns of an unknown type that were never recovered by the authorities.
  6. One of the victims was killed by stray police gunfire
  7. The civilian injury was indirect

References[change | change source]

  1. Borchers, Callum (October 4, 2017). "The squishy definition of 'mass shooting' complicates media coverage". Washington Post. Retrieved August 26, 2018. ...'mass shooting' is a term without a universally-accepted definition.
  2. Bjelopera, Jerome (March 18, 2013). "Public Mass Shootings in the United States" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 9, 2013. Retrieved August 26, 2018. There is no broadly agreed-to, specific conceptualization of this issue, so this report uses its own definition for public mass shootings.
  3. Greenberg, Jon; Jacobson, Louis; Valverde, Miriam (February 14, 2018). "What we know about mass shootings". PolitiFact. Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved February 20, 2018. As noted above, there is no widely accepted definition of mass shootings. People use either broad or restrictive definitions of mass shootings to reinforce their stance on gun control. After the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting, Congress defined "mass killings" as three or more homicides in a single incident. The definition was intended to clarify when the U.S. Attorney General could assist state and local authorities in investigations of violent acts and shootings in places of public use.
  4. Lankford, Adam (2016). "Public Mass Shooters and Firearms: A Cross-National Study of 171 Countries". Violence and Victims. 31 (2): 187–99. doi:10.1891/0886-6708.VV-D-15-00093. PMID 26822013. S2CID 207266615.
  5. Berkowitz, Bonnie; Gamio, Lazaro; Lu, Denise; Uhrmacher, Kevin; Lindeman, Todd. "The terrible numbers that grow with each mass shooting". Washington Post. Retrieved November 5, 2017.
  6. "One-Third of Mass Shootings Committed by People with Mental Illness, Study Says".
  7. Palazzolo, Joe; Flynn, Alexis (October 3, 2015). "U.S. Leads World in Mass Shootings". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
  8. Healy, Melissa (August 24, 2015). "Why the U.S. is No. 1 – in mass shootings". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
  9. Michaels, Samantha (August 23, 2015). "The United States Has Had More Mass Shootings Than Any Other Country". Mother Jones. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
  10. Fox, Kara (March 9, 2018). "How US gun culture compares with the world in five charts". CNN.
  11. Blair, John Pete; Schweit, Katherine W. (2014), A Study of Active Shooter Incidents, 2000–2013 (PDF), Washington, DC: Texas State University and Federal Bureau of Investigation
  12. "Mass shootings are rare – firearm suicides are much more common, and kill more Americans". PBS NewsHour. 2021-03-30. Retrieved 2022-03-20.
  13. Statista Research Department (March 2, 2022). "Mass shootings by shooter's race in the U.S. 2021". Statista. Retrieved May 15, 2022.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 14.6 14.7 14.8 "Deadliest Mass Shootings in Modern US History Fast Facts". CNN. Retrieved November 5, 2017.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 Blau, Reuven (November 6, 2017). "Texas gunman used same rifle as Las Vegas, Newtown mass shooters". New York Daily News. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  16. Holly Yan; Madison Park (October 3, 2017). "Las Vegas shooting: Bodycam footage shows first response". CNN. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
  17. Carissimo, Justin (November 6, 2017). "26 dead in shooting at church in Sutherland Springs, Texas". CBS News. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  18. Blankstein, Andrew; Burke, Minyvonne (August 3, 2019). "El Paso shooting: 20 people dead, at least 26 injured, suspect in custody, police say". NBC News. Retrieved August 3, 2019.
  19. Maxouris, Christina; Andone, Dakin; Chavez, Nicole; Levenson, Eric (August 5, 2019). "El Paso shooting death toll rises to 22 in anti-immigrant massacre". CNN. Retrieved August 5, 2019.
  20. "El Paso Shooting Victim Dies Months Later, Death Toll Now 23". The New York Times. April 26, 2020. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  21. Garcia, Eugene; Lopez-Mills, Dario (2022-05-24). "Texas governor: 15 killed in school shooting; gunman dead". Associated Press. Retrieved 2022-05-24.
  22. "18 students, 3 adults killed in Uvalde school shooting; suspect dead". Dallas News. 2022-05-25. Retrieved 2022-05-25.
  23. Grinberg, Emanuella; Levensen, Eric (February 14, 2018). "At least 17 dead in Florida school shooting, law enforcement says". CNN. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
  24. Cole, Matthew; Thomas, Pierre; Ryan, Jason; Esposito, Richard (November 19, 2009). "'Cop Killer' Gun Used In Ft. Hood Shooting, Officials Said". ABC News. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  25. Carter, Chelsea J. (August 23, 2013). "Nidal Hasan convicted in Fort Hood shootings". CNN. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  26. "Columbine killer has cult of fans long after death". New York Post. February 24, 2016. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  27. McFadden, Robert D. (April 3, 2009). "Gunman Kills 13 and Wounds 4 at Binghamton, N.Y., Immigrant Center". The New York Times. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  28. Berger, Meyer (September 7, 1949). "Veteran Kills 12 in Mad Rampage on Camden Street". The New York Times. Retrieved July 6, 2018. Howard B. Unruh, 28 years old, a mild, soft-spoken veteran of many armored artillery battles in Italy, France, Austria, Belgium and Germany, killed twelve persons with a war souvenir Luger pistol in his home block in East Camden this morning. He wounded four others.
  29. Sauer, Patrick (October 14, 2015). "The Story of the First Mass Murder in U.S. History". Smithsonian Magazine. Smithsonian Institution. He went into his apartment, uncased his German Luger P08, a 9mm pistol he'd purchased at a sporting goods store in Philadelphia for $37.50, and secured it with two clips and 33 loose cartridges.
  30. {{{litigants}}} 99-9005 (United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit October 31, 2001) (“On September 25, 1982 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Banks shot fourteen people with a Colt AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, killing thirteen and wounding one.”).
  31. {{{litigants}}}513 Pa. 318 (Supreme Court of Pennsylvania 1987) (“In the space of about one hour, appellant shot fourteen people with a Colt AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, killing thirteen and wounding one.”).
  32. Dietz, P.E. (1986). "Mass, serial and sensational homicides". Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine. 62 (5): 477–491. PMC 1629267. PMID 3461857. He had purchased equipment and materials of the kind advertised and promoted in these magazines, including a Colt AR-15 semi-automatic rifle...
  33. Kang, Martha (February 26, 2010). "Wah Mee Massacre prisoner closer to release". KOMO News.
  34. Castillo, Michelle (July 20, 2012). "Colo. shooter purchased guns legally from 3 different stores". CBS News. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  35. Jacobo, Julia (July 21, 2017). "A look back at the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater shooting 5 years later". ABC News. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  36. Cook, James (November 8, 2018). "Gunman kills 12 in California bar". BBC News. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  37. Said-Moorhouse, Lauren; Picheta, Rob; Rocha, Veronica; Wagner, Meg; Yeung, Jessie (November 8, 2018). "Mass shooting at California dance bar". CNN. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  38. Hermann, Peter; Marimow, Ann E. (September 25, 2013). "Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis driven by delusions". Washington Post. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  39. Madhani, Aamer (July 2, 2015). "What happened in 2013 Navy Yard mass shooting". USA Today. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  40. Duggan, Paul. "'Suddenly, a kind of hole exploded in my wall.' Pop-pops and then duck for cover". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  41. Andone, Dakin; Hanna, Jason; Sterling, Joe; Murphy, Paul P. (October 27, 2018). "Hate crime charges filed in Pittsburgh synagogue shooting that left 11 dead". CNN. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  42. Machi, Vivienne (September 24, 2016). "40 years later, Ruppert family murders still traumatic". Dayton Daily News. Archived from the original on March 28, 2018. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  43. Andone, Dakin; Allen, Keith; Almasy, Steve (May 18, 2018). "Alleged shooter at Texas high school spared people he liked, court document says". CNN. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  44. Osunsami, Steve; Carter, Bill; Mooney, Mark; Mcguirt, Mary; Schabner, Dean (March 12, 2009). "Cops Close to Motive in Murderous Rampage". ABC News. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  45. Dewan, Shaila; Sulzberger, A.G. (March 11, 2009). "Officials Identify Alabama Gunman". The New York Times. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  46. Gee, Derek (May 14, 2022). "Ten killed in mass shooting at Jefferson Avenue supermarket; officials describe attack as 'hate crime'". The Buffalo News. Retrieved May 14, 2022.
  47. Vera, Amir (March 22, 2021). "Witnesses describe chaos as shooter opened fire in a Colorado grocery store". CNN. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  48. "Boulder shooting suspect charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder". CNN. 2021-03-23. Archived from the original on March 24, 2021. Retrieved 2021-03-23.
  49. McFadden, Robert D. (April 16, 1984). "10 In Brooklyn Are Found Slain Inside A House". The New York Times. Retrieved March 27, 2018.