Infographic: How many mass shootings took place in the US this year?

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On May 24, an 18-year-old gunman stormed Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, fatally shooting 19 children and two teachers before being shot and killed by police, spotlighting gun violence in the United States.

The massacre is the latest in a years-long series of mass shootings in the US, which, according to a tally by the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive, was the 213th incident of 2022 in which four or more people were shot or killed — not including the attacker — in a single incident.

Based on the above definition, there have been at least 17 other mass shootings in the US since the Texas school shooting a week ago.

However, because there is no common definition of a mass shooting, depending on the database used, the number of mass shootings in the US as of early this year has been somewhere between three and 268.

How is a mass shooting defined?

There are at least five active databases tracking mass shootings in the US, each with a different threshold for minimum casualties, location of the incident, and motivation of the shooter(s).

(Al-Jazeera)

The Mother Jones and The Violence Project trackers have the most restrictive definitions of a mass shooting, counting incidents involving at least three or four fatalities, respectively, where the shooting took place in a public place, and where the shooter’s targets were randomly selected. nature were.

The Everytown for Gun Safety database has a broader definition of a mass shooting – where four or more people are killed, but where the shooting took place anywhere, including in a private setting, and where the shooter had any motive, including crimes of armed robbery, gang violence or domestic violence. violence.

The Gun Violence Archive and Mass Shooting Tracker have the least restrictive definition and include incidents where weapons are used to kill or injure four or more people, regardless of the shooter’s location or motivation.

Based on these definitions, there were between six and 818 mass shootings in the US in 2021.

INTERACTIVE Mass shootings in the US in 2022 infographic
(Al-Jazeera)

On May 30, the number of mass shootings in 2022 in the US was:

Mother Jones: 3 mass shootings, 35 dead, 20 injured

The violence project: 1 mass shooting, 10 dead, 3 injured (Last updated on May 14, 2022)

Everytown for gun safety: 7 mass shootings, 43 dead, 37 injured (Last updated on May 14, 2022)

Armed Forces Archive: 230 mass shootings, 256 dead, 996 injured

Mass Shooting Tracker: 268 mass shootings, 314 dead, 1,097 injured

At the federal level, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) does not specifically track mass shootings, but the federal law enforcement agency defines a “mass murder” as an incident in which four or more people are murdered in one event.

US active shootings are on the rise

A data analysis from the Rand Corporation found that inconsistencies in government agencies’ definition of mass shootings have led to differing assessments of how often mass shootings occur and whether they are more common than they were a decade or two ago.

A useful proxy then is to measure what the FBI calls “active shooting incidents” — which does have an agreed-upon definition among government agencies.

Since 2014, the FBI has been tracking active shooting incidents which it defines as “an individual who is actively involved in killing or attempting to kill people in a restricted and populated area; in most cases active shooters use firearms and there is no pattern or method for selecting victims”.

According to the latest FBI report released on May 23, there were 61 active shooting incidents in the U.S. in 2021 — a 52 percent increase from 2020 — and the highest year on record. Last year’s attacks spread across 30 states, killing 103 and injuring 140. The FBI had recorded 20 such incidents each year from 2014 to 2016, 31 in 2017 and 30 in both 2018 and 2019.

The FBI noted that its report on active gunmen does not include all gun violence or even all mass shootings.

INTERACTIVE Mass shootings are on the rise in the US
(Al-Jazeera)

The Deadliest Mass Shootings in the US

In the past 10 years alone, seven of the ten deadliest mass shootings in US history, half of which have occurred in Texas alone.

According to The Violence Project, which has been recording mass shootings in the US since 1966, the deadliest mass shootings in the US are:

INTERACTIVE The 10 deadliest mass shootings in the US infographic
(Al-Jazeera)
  1. Las Vegas Concert – October 1, 2017: A gunman opened fire at a country music festival from a hotel suite on the 32nd floor, killing 58 people before committing suicide.
  2. nightclub in Orlando – June 12, 2016: A gunman killed 49 people in Pulse, a gay nightclub, before being shot and killed by police.
  3. Virginia Tech – April 16, 2007: A 23-year-old Virginia Tech student shot and killed 27 students and five professors before taking his life.
  4. Sandy Hook Elementary – December 14, 2012: A 20-year-old gunman killed 20 students and six adults before committing suicide.
  5. Church of Sutherland Springs – November 5, 2017: A man thrown from the United States Air Force for beating his wife and child killed 25 people in a Texas rural church where his in-laws worshiped before committing suicide.
  6. luby shoots October 16, 1991: A 35-year-old man drove his truck through the windshield of a Luby’s Texas restaurant, then shot and killed 23 people before committing suicide.
  7. El Paso Walmart – August 3, 2019: A man shot and killed 22 people at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas. A statement, believed to have been written by the suspect, called the attack “a response to the Spanish invasion of Texas.” Authorities have arrested the shooter.
  8. San Ysidro McDonalds – July 18, 1984: A 41-year-old gunman killed 21 people and injured 19 others before being killed by a police sniper.
  9. Robb primary school – May 24, 2022: An 18-year-old gunman stormed Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, fatally shooting 19 children and two teachers before being shot and killed by police.
  10. Parkland high school – February 14, 2018: A former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killed 17 students and teachers.



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