Mass Shootings So Far This Year Almost Reach 2018 Levels

Aug 8, 2019, 7:56 AM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 5:03 pm
DAYTON, OHIO - AUGUST 07: People visit a memorial in the Oregon District, where a mass shooting early Sunday morning left nine dead and 27 wounded, on August 07, 2019 in Dayton, Ohio. President Donald Trump visited the city today to offer his support to the community. The shooting happened less than 24 hours after a gunman in Texas opened fire at a shopping mall in El Paso killing 22 people. Trump is scheduled to visit El Paso later today. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

SEATTLE (AP) — Just seven months into 2019, the U.S. has experienced almost as many mass killings as occurred in all of 2018.

Back-to-back mass shootings in Texas and Ohio brought the total number of mass killings so far this year to 23, leaving 131 people dead. There were 25 mass killings in 2018, claiming 140 lives, according to a database compiled by The Associated Press, Northeastern University and USA Today.

The database tracks every mass killing dating back to 2006, and the El Paso and Dayton massacres had traits that were similar to many earlier incidents. That includes shooting a family member while carrying out a mass killing, which happened in Dayton; the young age of the perpetrators; and the tendency of the shooters to commit suicide or get killed by police.

Here are some takeaways:


The last three years have seen several fluctuations in mass killing numbers. In 2017, 225 people died in 32 mass killings, driven by the massacre in Las Vegas. In 2018, the year was marked by a surge in mass killings in public places, including schools in Texas and Florida.

A typical year has roughly 29 mass killings.

Mass killings — defined as killings involving four or more fatalities, not including the killer — have occurred in 16 states this year. California has experienced four of them.


The majority of mass killings involve domestic violence, and eight of 74 public mass shootings since 2006 involved the killing of a blood relative, the data shows. The shooter’s parent, sibling, cousin, nephew or niece was shot first and then the perpetrator sought out others to kill.

“They’ll take it out on family and then society, figuring they already committed a murder,” said David Chipman, a former agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives who now works as a policy adviser at Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence. “Domestic violence is the most risky call for service that police go on.”

Before 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed 26 children and staff at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, he had fatally shot his mother in their Newtown, Connecticut home.

Jaylen Fryberg, 15, sent text messages to lure two cousins and several friends to the cafeteria at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington, in 2014. He then shot the four students before turning the gun on himself.

And last month, police say a man in Southern California began his rampage by killing and injuring family members before shooting strangers. In the end, he is accused of killing four people.


The AP/USA Today/Northeastern database shows that many mass shootings are committed by a certain demographic: young, white men.

Most mass shootings in the U.S. are carried out by men, with white men making up nearly 50 percent of the shooters, the database shows.

The median age of a public mass shooter is 28; significantly lower than the median age of a person who commits a mass shooting of their family, according to the database.

Since 2006, 12 mass shootings have been committed by gunmen 21 or younger. That includes the 21-year-old suspected gunman in El Paso.


More than half of public mass shooters either kill themselves on the scene or are shot by police.

Lanza and Fryberg killed themselves, as did Stephen Paddock, the man who killed 58 people and wounded 422 attending a country music festival in Las Vegas in 2017. So did the man who killed 33 at Virginia Tech in 2007; the former municipal worker who murdered 12 in Virginia Beach this year; and the mentally ill man who gunned down four at an IHop restaurant in Nevada in 2011. The Pulse nightclub shooter was killed by police in Orlando.

The man who opened fire at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in July also committed suicide.

“They obviously went through the thought process of ‘I may end up dead,'” said Frank Farley, a Temple University psychology professor and former president of the American Psychological Association. “And did it anyway.”

James Holmes, who killed 12 and wounded 70 in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, was sentenced in 2015 to life in prison. Dylann Roof, a white supremacist who fatally shot nine people attending the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in 2015, was sentenced to death.

Prosecutors are also seeking the death penalty for Patrick Wood Crusius, the man accused of fatally shooting 22 people at an El Paso Walmart.


Associated Press Writer Colleen Long contributed to this report from Washington, D.C.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

Demonstrators participate in a protest against the police killing of Tyre Nichols on January 27, 20...
Adrian Sainz, Associated Press

Memphis authorities release video in Tyre Nichols’ death

Video showing five Memphis officers beating Tyre Nichols, a Black man, has been made public.
1 day ago
An apparent shortage of pharmacists is forcing CVS and Walmart to reduce the hours of its pharmacie...
Jordan Valinsky

CVS and Walmart cut pharmacy hours, close some locations earlier, citing staffing shortage

An apparent shortage of pharmacists is forcing CVS and Walmart to reduce the hours of its pharmacies, as they close earlier in thousands of locations.
1 day ago
Video of the attack on Paul Pelosi at his San Francisco home was released after a California court ...
Jeremy Herb, Jack Hannah and Jack Forrest

Court releases video of attack on Paul Pelosi

The San Francisco Superior Court on Friday released video and audio recorded during last year's attack on Nancy Pelosi's husband, Paul Pelosi, including police body-cam footage depicting the moment of the attack and the alleged assailant's police interview where he admitted he wanted to hold the then-House speaker hostage.
1 day ago
This image taken from video provided by the NAOJ & Asahi Shimbun, shows spiral swirling through...
Audrey McAvoy, Associated Press

Camera captures night sky spiral after SpaceX rocket launch

A camera atop Hawaii's tallest mountain has captured what looks like a spiral swirling through the night sky. Researchers believe it shows the aftereffects of a SpaceX rocket launch when the company's Falcon 9 rocket sent a GPS satellite into orbit.
1 day ago
People attend a candlelight vigil in memory of Tyre Nichols at the Tobey Skate Park on January 26, ...
Simone Seikaly, KSL NewsRadio

Utah safety officials, NAACP, react to death of Tyre Nichols

The Utah Department of Public Safety together with the Salt Lake Branch of the NAACP have called the death of Tyre Nichols a "despicable act of violence and inhumanity."
1 day ago
Holding on to their secret and each other, mother and son set out to reclaim their sense of home, i...

‘A Thousand and One’ wins Sundance grand jury prize

"A Thousand and One," a drama about an impoverished single mother and her son in New York City, won the Sundance Film Festival's grand jury prize in the U.S. dramatic competition, while "Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project" was awarded the top prize in the U.S. documentary category.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Mass Shootings So Far This Year Almost Reach 2018 Levels