The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has released its annual report on active shooter incidents in the United States. For the purposes of these reports, the “FBI defines an active shooter as one or more individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area. Implicit in this definition is the shooter’s use of one or more firearms. The ‘active’ aspect of the definition inherently implies that both law enforcement personnel and citizens have the potential to affect the outcome of the event based upon their responses to the situation.” The data excludes shooting incidents that are gang-related or drug-related.
According to “Active Shooter Incidents in the United States in 2018“, a total of 27 active shooter incidents occurred in the nation during the past calendar year. The following list is a breakdown of some of the most salient data:
- 27 incidents occurred in 16 states. Four incidents occurred in California, and three occurred in Florida.
- 10 of the incidents met the criteria to be classified as “mass killings”.
- As a result of the 27 incidents, there were 213 casualties, and 85 people were killed. The highest number of casualties in a single incident occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
- Of the 27 shooters, 23 were male, three were female, and one is still considered at large. Excluding the at large individual, 10 shooters committed suicide, 11 were apprehended by police, four were killed by police, and one was killed by citizens.
- 16 of the 27 incidents occurred in areas of commerce, seven incidents occurred in business environments, and five incidents occurred in education environments.
This year’s data represents a slight decrease in active shooter incidents compared to 2017, which set an all-time high record of incidents (30) during one calendar year. Several news outlets have also covered the release of 2018 report. An article from USA Today points out that, “In the first seven years since the FBI began producing the report in 2000, there was an average of 6.4 active-shooter incidents, and that figure more than doubled to 16.4 the next seven years. It has been at least in the 20s every year since then, spiking in the last two.”
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