Recent mass shootings in the U.S.:
A list of the worst mass shootings in the United States in the last four years.
A tally of a mass shooting could be written in countless ways.
The term is not a legal one — which means that definitions fluctuate. The Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit that tallies gun violence in the United States, defines a mass shooting as four or more victims shot or killed. Some media outlets use three fatalities as a baseline for a mass shooting; others four. The topic is widely debated.
For this timeline, The Times is defining a mass shooting as four or more deaths (which currently leaves the tragic Gilroy, Calif., shooting off the list). What is certain is that these types of shootings — regardless of how they are classified — often play out in a similar way: a gunman, frequently male, frequently working alone or as part of a pair, brings untold grief to the places where people gather: shopping centers and nightclubs and high schools and churches. There is no place that is safe.
A gunman killed nine and injured an estimated 27 people near Ned Peppers Bar in the historic Oregon District of Dayton after opening fire with a .223-caliber rifle. The gunman, who was killed by police, has been identified by a law enforcement official as Connor Betts, 24. The shooter was wearing body armor and had additional high-capacity magazines. If the police hadn’t responded as quickly as they did, said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, ” hundreds of people in the Oregon District could be dead today.” Among the dead was the shooter’s sister.
A man armed with a rifle went on a rampage at a Walmart popular with Latino shoppers on El Paso’s eastside that left 22 dead — among them, a U.S. Army veteran and Mexican nationals — before surrendering to the police. The suspect, Patrick Crusius, 21, from Allen, Texas, may be linked to an anti-immigrant manifesto that appeared on the website 8chan in advance of the shootings that warned of an “invasion” of Latino immigrants. The attack left at least 26 people wounded.
DeWayne Craddock, 40, a civil engineer for the Public Utilities Department in Virginia Beach, opened fire inside a municipal building adjacent to City Hall, killing 12 people before being fatally shot by police. Eleven of those killed were municipal employees who had collectively served the city for more than 150 years; the 12th was a contractor seeking a permit. Six others were also wounded in the shooting.
Gary Martin, a 45-year-old factory worker in Aurora, Ill. killed five co-workers at the Henry Pratt Co. manufacturing plant in suburban Chicago during a meeting in which he was fired. One other co-worker was also wounded, as were the first five police officers to arrive at the scene. Martin was able to acquire the .40-caliber handgun he used because a background check didn’t turn up a prior felony conviction for aggravated battery in Mississippi. After a 90-minute manhunt inside the 29,000-sq. ft. plant, he was killed in a shootout with police.
A former U.S. Marine burst into the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks on a night when it was jammed with dancing college students, tossed a smoke bomb into the space and proceeded to open fire with a .45-caliber handgun. Twelve died in the attack and 18 were injured, including a Ventura County Sheriff’s deputy. The gunman, Ian David Long, 28, killed himself at the scene.
Robert Bowers, 46, a Pittsburgh truck driver with a history of posting anti-Semitic material on social media, entered the Tree of Life Synagogue in the city’s quiet Squirrel Hill neighborhood and killed 11 people and wounded six others. He was armed with an assault rifle and three handguns and wounded a total of four officers before being shot and taken into custody. According to the Anti-Defamation League, it was the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history.
For years, Jarrod W. Ramos, 38 had obsessively harassed journalists at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md., for publishing a story that outlined the ways in which he had criminally harassed a woman who had rejected his advances. On June 28 , 2018, he burst into the paper’s offices with a 12-gauge shotgun and killed five staffers.Police arrested Ramos at the scene. The paper’s staff nonetheless put out a paper: the next day. On the front page: “5 shot dead at The Capital.”
They had just picked up their caps and gowns and were days away from graduation, but some of the victims wouldn’t live to claim their diplomas. At 7:30 a.m. on a Friday, a 17-year-old junior named Dimitrios Pagourtzis entered Santa Fe High School, in the suburbs of Houston, and proceeded to kill 10 people and injure 13 morewith a shotgun and a .38 caliber revolver he’d taken from his father. Pagourtzis ultimately surrendered and was arrested.
Nikolas Cruz, 19, had been expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. for disciplinary reasons. He returned to the campus armed with a semiautomatic rifle and killed 17 students and staff members — seven of whom were only 14. In the process, he wounded at least a dozen others, some seriously. Cruz was ultimately arrested without incident. The attack surpassed the 1999 Columbine High School shooting as the deadliest shooting at a high school in U.S. history.
Worshipers had just filed in for Sunday services at First Baptist Church in this rural San Antonio suburb when Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, an Air Force veteran with a history of domestic violence, pulled up wearing a bullet-resistant vest and carrying an AR-15-style assault rifle. He killed 26 people ranging from 5 to 72. After being shot in the leg by a bystander, Kelley fled the scene, turned a gun on himself and died. Later reports showed that the Air Force had failed to report Kelley’s court martial for domestic violence to an FBI database, thereby allowing him to pass a background check and buy guns.
In a meticulously plotted attack, Stephen Paddock, 64, opened fire on spectators at the Route 91 Harvest music festival from his suite on the 32nd story of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. He killed 58 people and wounded more than 500. Investigators later found a cache of 23 weapons in his hotel room, including 14 firearms that had been modified with bump stocks, which allow a shooter to fire more rounds at a rapid pace. (These have since been banned.) Paddock, a real estate investor who had once worked for the IRS, was found dead after a SWAT team burst into his hotel room.
After being fired from his job at a Florida awning factory, John Robert Nuemann Jr., 45, a U.S. Army Veteran, returned to the cavernous Orlando manufacturing site with a semi-automatic pistol and killed five people. He then killed himself at the sound of an approaching siren.
Esteban Santiago, 26, a U.S. Army veteran based in Anchorage, who had complained that the government was controlling his mind, drew a gun from his checked baggage at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and proceeded to kill five people and wound eight. He was taken into custody after tossing aside his empty weapon.
The plan had been to ambush moviegoers who had gathered at the Cascade Mall theater in Burlington to watch “The Magnificent Seven.” But Arcan Cetin, a 20-year-old fast-food worker, had to abandon that idea when the theater door he had propped open was discovered by someone and closed shut. Instead, he used the semiautomatic Ruger .22 rifle that he had stolen from his stepfather’s closet to shoot five people at close range inside a Macy’s department store. Cetin was found dead in his jail cell in April of the following year — an apparent suicide.
It was Latin night at Pulse, a gay dance spot in Orlando, when Omar Mateen, 29, entered the nightclub with an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle and launched an attack that left 49 people dead and 58 injured. At one point, Mateen took 30 clubgoers as hostages. Just after 5 a.m., a local SWAT team moved in and opened a hole in a wall with an armored vehicle; less than an hour later, Mateen was dead. Among the motives attributed to Mateen were racism and homophobia.
Before it was a massacre, it was a holiday potluck for county workers. Government health inspector Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, had attended the event at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino with his co-workers. He then left the party and returned with his wife, Tashfeen Malik, 29 — bearing combat rifles and handguns. Together, they killed 14 people and wounded 22 others. Farook and Malik later died in a gun battle with police, who uncovered an arsenal of ammunition, pipe bombs and other weapons in their Redlands townhouse.
Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer, 26, entered his Writing 115 class at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore. — only the second time the class had met — and began firing. He killed nine people and injured another nine, before killing himself during a gunfight with sheriff’s deputies. Law enforcement sources later described him as a “hate-filled” individual with anti-religious and white supremacist leanings. At the time of the shootings, he was armed with six legally purchased handguns and a flak jacket.
A man reportedly shouted racial epithets before opening fire inside the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., resulting in the deaths of nine members of a Bible study class, including three ministers. Dylann Storm Roof, 21, fled the scene and was later apprehended 250 miles away in Shelby, N.C. In December 2016, he was found guilty of 33 federal charges, including committing a hate crime; the following month he was sentenced to death. He is being held in federal prison in Indiana.
For the record:
12:44 PM, Aug. 05, 2019 An earlier version of this story reported that the shooter at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Los Vegas in 2017 used a gun that had been illegally modified with a bump stock. Bump stocks were legal at the time; they have since been banned.
World Net Daily columnist and former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Sunday insisted that Americans were entitled to armor-piercing bullets because they are “a right in our country.”
The Pennsylvania Republican told an ABC News panel that conservatives “should stick to our guns” and oppose President Barack Obama’s efforts to curb gun violence in the wake of the slaughter of 20 children in Newtown, Connecticut.
Relax, the gun murders you read about are on the other side of town. Besides, you’re working from home or retired, so the likelihood you’ll be on the road when the next freeway sniper unloads his weapon across the lanes is nil.
Another plus is that your kids are grown–but wait–one is in graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin, in a state where getting a driver’s license and a concealed carry permit seem to occur at more or less the same time. Open carry whenever/whomever. Relax again, Texas Tower, scene of the murder of 18 and injury of 31 in the middle of campus is now locked, so bullets raining down on students from its observation deck, as happened in 1966 would, at least, involve a key.
Wait–you have grandchildren–but they’re not in Texas, but in Oregon–no school shootings since 2015 there.
As the clock ticks on, FedEx drops off an order of armor piercing ammo at a rural homestead in Oregon. In the woods behind it, a pile of bullet riddled targets await their turn at the burn barrel. Inside the sagging double-wide, two tables of dismantled guns await a final wipe-down and reassembly. Their owner, again, ponders his future while reading the final notices from the electric co-op and the the County tax collector spread on the kitchen table. His phone has been off for weeks and he has been “off”, laid off that is, from Burris Mills, its machinery auctioned off a month ago, for nearly two years. The ammunition he just got was paid for with the proceeds of the sale of his chest freezer, empty anyway, and some welding tanks.
If he’s careful, the food left in the refrigerator and kitchen will last another week-the electricity will be off anyway about then, which will take care of the toaster and the stove. His dog, Max, died a year ago, just as well, as things turned out–at least he didn’t have to shoot him when the money for food ran out.
The truck still runs, and has about half a tank of gas, which will take him a hundred miles more or less in any direction. School has started, and there are about 3 within range, along with half a dozen churches and a courthouse–but that has an armed guard at the door. Decisions, decisions.