(See charts below.) Just as a perpetrator used a .40-caliber Glock to slaughter students in Red Lake, Minnesota, in 2005, so too did the one in Aurora, along with an AR-15 assault rifle, when blasting away at his victims in a darkened movie theater.In Newtown, Connecticut, the attacker wielded a .223 Bushmaster semi-automatic assault rifle as he massacred 20 school children and six adults. (See Goleta, Calif., in 2006.) The average age of the killers was 35, though the youngest among them was a mere 11 years old.
Explore the map for further details—we do not consider it to be all-inclusive, but based on the criteria we used, we believe that we’ve produced the most comprehensive rundown available on this particular type of violence.
Other news outlets and researchers have published larger tallies that include a wide range of gun crimes in which four or more people have been either wounded or killed.
While those larger datasets of multiple-victim shootings may be useful for studying the broader problem of gun violence, our investigation provides an in-depth look at the distinct phenomenon of mass shootings—from the firearms used to mental health factors and the growing copycat problem.
Seven of them took place in 2012 alone, including Sandy Hook.
A recent analysis of this database by researchers at Harvard University, further corroborated by a recent FBI study, determined that mass shootings have been on the rise.
(Mass shootings represent only a sliver of America’s overall gun violence.) For the stories of the 151 shooting rampage victims of 2012, click here, and for our groundbreaking investigation into the economic costs of the nation’s gun violence, including mass shootings, click here.