The Slatest

At Least 51 People Killed in Mass Shootings in August in the U.S.

Pallbearers carry a casket with Margie Reckard, into a public memorial in El Paso, on August 16, 2019 in El Paso, Texas.
Pallbearers carry a casket with Margie Reckard, into a public memorial in El Paso, on August 16, 2019 in El Paso, Texas.
Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

The death toll from the West Texas mass shooting Saturday remains a bit unclear but considering the widely reported figure that five people were killed would bring the number of victims of mass killings using firearms in the United States in August to 51. The numbers depend on how you define mass killings. But taking into account the Justice Department’s definition of three or more killings in a single episode, not including the gunman, would bring the number of deaths in the month to 51, according to the New York Times. Much of the death this month took place in Texas, including the Aug. 3 shooting at a Walmart in El Paso that killed 22 people.

According to one count, the events in West Texas Saturday brought the number of mass killings in the United States so far this year to 25, which is the same as in all of 2018. The mass murder database by AP/USA Today/Northeastern University also shows that the number of total victims so far this year are at least 140. That database only counts homicides involving four more people killed not including the gunman. When the lower threshold of three or more people killed is used, the West Texas shooting was the 38th mass killing in the United States this year.