How many Mass shootings have there been in the US?

There have been at least 275 school shootings in the United States this year so far, according to the Gun Violence File (GVA). On Sunday 13 November, two separate mass murders at US universities left seven students dead.

Since 1970, when current records began, there have been 2155 school shootings in the United States that have left 661 dead. Last year’s figures reached an all-time high with more than 250 incidents recorded, an increase of 120% from the previous year when 114 incidents were recorded.

In the last decade alone there have been nine massacres of this nature, although this number increases to 19 if we go back to 1989.

Total school shootings in USA in 2022

2022 was already the worst year on record. As of November 16, there have been 275 shootings on school campuses – passing the 250 total for all of 2021.

Source: David Riedman, K-12 School Shooting Database  Get the data  Download image

Many of these incidents have been simple disputes that turned deadly because teens came to school angry and armed. At East High in Des Moines, Iowa, in March 2022, for example, six teenagers allegedly fired 42 shots in an incident that took place during school dismissal time.

The hail of gunfire killed a child and seriously injured two bystanders. The district attorney described the case as one of the most complex murder investigations his office has ever conducted, in part because six guns were used.

University of Virginia shooting (2022)

The University of Virginia lifted the campus-wide lockdown Monday hours after three students were killed and two wounded in a shooting on a charter bus returning from a field trip, authorities said.

Those killed were D’Sean Perry, Lavel Davis Jr. and Devin Chandler, all of whom played football at the school, university president Jim Ryan said. The names of the two people who were injured have not been released.

University of Idaho shooting (2022)

Four University of Idaho students were killed in a “crime of passion” in a nearby house off campus.

More than 647 mass shootings this year

There have already been nearly 647 mass shootings in 2022 in the United States, according to the Archive of Gun Violence.

According to the Gun Violence Archive (GVA), there have been 647 mass shootings so far this year in the United States. The GVA defines a mass shooting as “four or more [persons] shot and/or killed in a single event, at the same general time and place, not including the shooter.”

Another website, Mass Shooting Tracker, records 701 mass shootings so far in 2022, which it defines as “a single outbreak of violence in which four or more people are shot,” bringing the total to a staggering 5,083 mass shootings since 2013. Using this last figure, the United States has averaged 1.40 mass shootings per day over the past decade.

The United States ended 2021 with 693 mass shootings, according to the Gun Violence Archive. The previous year saw 611. And 2019 had 417.

As for school shootings, according to Education Week, in 2021 there were 34 such incidents in educational institutions (the highest since the organization started its database). In 2020 there were 10 shootings. Both 2019 and 2018 recorded 24 shootings.

Percentage of Active Shooter Incidents by School Level

1999-2022
High school59%
Middle school, junior high, or 6-12 school21%
Elementary school14%
K-12 or K-8 school3%
Other or unknown3%

Most murderers suffered from psychological problems

Perpetrated by adolescents or young people -the average age is just 21 years-, most of the murderers suffered from psychological problems and used a family member’s firearm to carry out the crime, although there were also those who acquired it in person or online.

42 of the 50 states in the United States have recorded a mass shooting since 1966, according to data from The Violence Project. California is the state in which the most shootings have been recorded, with 27, followed by Texas, with 20, and Florida, with 13. In addition, they are also the three territories in which the most deaths have occurred due to shootings, in Texas 201, in California 178, and in Florida 130.

The massacre in Uvalde (Texas), committed by Salvador Ramos (18 years old), was the third-worst shooting in an educational center in the North American country. The bloodiest massacre was that of Virginia Tech University (2007), in which 33 people died and 23 were injured.

From 1966 to today, a total of 178 large-scale shootings have been reported, 12 of which have occurred in elementary schools, according to data from The Violence Project. The K-12 School Shooting Database project has also documented when a gun is displayed, fired, or a bullet strikes school property for any reason, regardless of the number of victims, as detailed on its website.

Who are the victims?

Hundreds of students, teachers, bus drivers, police officers and parents have lost their lives in school shootings in the United States.

Age data is available for 97% of the victims and figures show that 67% were under the age of 18, while 33% were over the age of 18. This includes people who were killed or injured during shootings.

Excluding the most recent shooting in Texas, historical figures show that at least 423 children and adolescents have died (39 of them under 10 years of age), 1,383 have been injured (40 under 10 years of age) and 82 have suffered minor injuries.

The youngest victims were barely a year old.

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