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FBI: Shooting Incidents Rising Nationwide

Federal Bureau of Investigation - 2014

Mass shootings in public places have been increasing in frequency and severity over the past decade, as the Federal Bureau of Investigation compiled 160 incidents spread out through 40 states. Colorado stands out when compared to neighboring states.

Thestudy [.pdf] analyzes "active shooter" incidents that involve a crime in progress where law enforcement and citizens "have the potential to affect the outcome of the event based on their responses." The FBI only studied incidents that were spontaneous and in progress. Gang violence was not included.

Since 2000, 11.4 incidents occurred every year. The first seven years of the study averaged 6.4 incidents per year with the last seven years averaging 16.4 annually. 486 people were killed and 557 wounded between 2010 and 2013.

The highest casualties took place during the incidents at the Cinema Century 16 Theater in Aurora, at Virginia Tech, Fort Hood and Sandy Hook Elementary. 70 percent of the shootings occurred in schools and private businesses. While the majority of shooters at a place of business were not employees, nearly all of the school shootings were done by students attending those schools.

The duration of the shootings often occurred quickly, with 23 incidents ending in two-minutes or less and often ended when the shooter committed suicide or fled the scene. The 2013 incident at Arapahoe High School in Centennial lasted a mere 80 seconds. Most of the incidents occurred on Tuesdays and Fridays.

All but six of the shooters were male and only two included more than one perpetrator.

Colorado has had seven active shooting incidents since 2006, with the majority occurring within the last five years. In addition to the Aurora Theater shooting, shooters targeted a church in Colorado Springs, a sports bar in Vail, Deer Creek Middle School in Littleton, Arapahoe High School in Centennial, a business in Boulder and a Safeway warehouse in Denver.

Nebraska and Kansas had three incidents since the beginning of the new millennium. New Mexico had two and Utah had one. Wyoming hasn’t had any active shooter incidents within the past 14 years.

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