The Slatest

FBI Study Finds Active Shooter Cases in Populated Areas on the Rise

A makeshift shrine to the victims of a elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, December 16, 2012.

Photo by EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images

The FBI released data on Wednesday confirming what many people probably already suspected—public, “active shooter” cases are on the rise in the U.S. The data, which comes courtesy of an FBI study into active shooter incidents between 2000 and 2013, shows that during that period there were 160 active shooter cases, resulting in 486 deaths. The study defined such cases as instances where “individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in populated areas (excluding shootings related to gang or drug violence).” Some examples that fit that definition were the shootings at Virginia Tech, Newtown, Fort Hood, the Aurora movie theater, the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, and the Washington Navy Yard.

Here are some of the study’s findings:

Active shooter incidents are becoming more frequent—the first seven years of the study show an average of 6.4 incidents annually, while the last seven years show 16.4 incidents annually.

These incidents resulted in a total of 1,043 casualties (486 killed, 557 wounded—excluding the shooters).

All but six of the 160 incidents involved male shooters (and only two involved more than one shooter).

The largest percentage of incidents—45.6 percent—took place in a commercial environment (73 incidents), followed by 24.3 percent that took place in an educational environment (39 incidents). The remaining incidents occurred at the other location types specified in the study—open spaces, military and other government properties, residential properties, houses of worship, and health care facilities.

“Many of the shootings ended in a matter of minutes: In 23 of the shootings, the violence was over in less than two minutes, and 60% ended before police arrived,” the Wall Street Journal notes. “The study found there have been active-shooting incidents in 40 of the 50 states and the District of Columbia,” ABC News reports. “Only 64 of the 160 active-shooting cases meet the criteria for ‘mass shootings,’ which is defined as three or more killed in a single incident.”