Cartoon by Steve Sack
The El Paso Shooting Is The 249th Mass Shooting Of 2019
KERA News: Saturday’s shooting in El Paso, Texas, is the 249th mass shooting incident this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. The Archive defines a mass shooting as four or more victims injured or killed excluding the perpetrator in one location.
This definition is broad, and includes some shootings other tallies may not, such as gang violence. By comparison, the FBI’s definition of active shooter incidents excludes drug or gang violence and “accidental discharges of a gun.”
The shooting reportedly took place at a Walmart Saturday morning in the Cielo Vista Mall area of El Paso. Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas said earlier today that 20 people have been killed and more than two dozen have been injured.
Several outlets report that the El Paso Police Department has taken multiple suspects into custody.
In the early hours of Sunday morning, another shooting took place in Dayton, Ohio. Police have stated that nine people, as well as the suspected shooter, died in the incident. Local police were reportedly on duty nearby and responded “in a very short period of time,” said Dayton Police Lt. Col. Matt Carper.
In June, five people were injured and 12 died at a shooting in Virginia Beach, Virginia, the deadliest mass shooting so far this year. The shooter died after a gunfight with police.
And last month, at the most recent high-profile mass shooting this year, which took place at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California, three people died and 12 others were injured. The local coroner’s office recently stated that the shooter killed himself.
In the case of both the El Paso shooting and the Gilroy Garlic Festival, there were early reports of multiple shooters, which is rare. Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee later said it was likely there was no second shooter.
However, one recent exception to the rule that there’s rarely a second shooter was the May shooting at the STEM School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, where two shooters were apprehended by police.
Last year, the FBI released a report on the perpetrators of active shootings from 2000 to 2013. The FBI’s research revealed many of the common ideas associated with active shooters are misconceptions.
In the last few years there have been two mass shootings in Texas that have attracted national attention: In November 2017, 26 people were killed in a shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and in May 2018, 10 people were killed at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas.
Guns & America is a public media reporting project on the role of guns in American life.