The Slatest

You Only Have to Go Back One Week to Find a U.S. Mass Shooting Deadlier Than the London Terror Attack

Christianna May-Kelly
Christianna May-Kelly (center), with family members on May 28 in Brookhaven, Mississippi. May-Kelly’s parents were among the victims of the shooting spree that began May 27.

Rogelio V. Solis/AP Photo

Seven individuals were killed in London by radical jihadists on Saturday, an event that has dominated headlines and occupied most of our president’s Twitter feed since. But in America, you’re much more likely to be killed with a handgun by someone you know than you are to be the victim of a high-profile terror attack—and, indeed, it was only one week before the London incident that eight people in the U.S. were killed by a single shooter who was angry at his estranged wife.

The details: On May 27, a sheriff’s deputy in Bogue Chitto, Mississippi, responded to a home where 35-year-old Willie Cory Godbolt was arguing with his wife about custody of their two children. Godbolt then shot and killed the deputy and three of his wife’s relatives. He would later shoot and kill four other individuals he was related to or acquainted with, including an 11-year-old boy, before being arrested. Godbolt had a long rap sheet that included serious domestic violence charges; it’s not clear how he obtained the gun used in the killings. (Domestic violence homicides—and the deaths of individuals who are “corollary” to domestic disputes—are very common in the U.S.)

Meanwhile, on Saturday—the day of the London attacks—there were three firearm homicides in Baltimore, three in St. Louis, two in South Carolina, and one each in California, Georgia, Las Vegas, Louisiana and Alabama. A toddler who’d found a gun under a bed also accidentally killed himself in Pennsylvania, making for 14 total known gun violence deaths in the country on that day. (That’s actually an unusually low daily total.) On Monday morning, meanwhile, five people working at a business near Orlando, Florida, were killed by a former co-worker. Reports say the incident was not “terror-related.”