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  • Ryan Wittler

Nearly 150 People Have Died in American School Shootings


A new analysis from researchers with The Violence Project, a nonprofit research center dedicated to reducing violence, highlights findings from a comprehensive database of American school shootings and the gunmen who carry them out.

Analysis highlights:

The database shows there have been 13 mass shootings at American schools since 1966 (when the database timeline begins), resulting in 146 children and adults being killed.

  • Another 182 children and adults have been injured in the 13 shootings.

Four of the 13 shootings involved a killing at another location, and the vast majority were carried out by a lone gunman (only two involved two gunmen).

  • The researchers say the word “gunmen” is also purposeful and accurate, as all of the shootings were carried out by men or boys with an average age of 18.

  • Most gunmen also have a connection to the school they target, with at least 12 of the 15 in the database being former or current students.

The database:

The database compiles information on U.S. mass public shootings and characteristics of the gunmen who carry them out.

  • For database purposes, a mass shooting is defined as one in which four or more people are killed with at least one death happening in a public place and with no connection to underlying criminal activity (e.g., gang violence or drugs).

Why it matters:

The three deadliest American school shootings have all taken place within the last decade: Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012 (26 children and staff killed), Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018 (17 dead), and now Robb Elementary on Tuesday (at least 21 killed).

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