Empirical Databases of School Shootings

Over the last 12+ years, I have constructed an Excel spreadsheet with now well over 100 columns that documents 1,800+ on-campus shootings (or at school-sponsored events, like the prom-which there are very few of) at American schools and colleges including 101 active shooter (when using the definition of 3 or less injured and/or killed) and 20 mass school shootings (four or more killed). When I learned that there wasn’t a comprehensive empirical database of school shootings when I was a junior in high school during coverage of the Columbine massacre, the stunning fact sparked my interest to construct the badly-needed database one day. Around 11 years after my junior year in high school, in August of 2009, is when I started my work. To facilitate verification of the information in the database a huge bibliography with an estimated 50,000 sources is also within the database which is by far the largest bibliography of any school shooting database project. I have recently added titles/headings for all the columns to make the database easier to read and to understand. I have also added new columns about the SRO/police response, whether the shooting occurred at a sporting event, or if a hostage situation happened and if the shooter/assailant(s) was a veteran.

 

  The database below covers all classifications of shootings that have occurred on-campus (or at school-sponsored events) at America's schools and includes all levels and types of education institutions. If it is a learning environment in America it is included. The database includes shootings at K-12 schools, colleges and universities, community colleges, specialty and vocational schools, military schools, bible and theological schools, preschools and even daycare centers (very few). There are 101 active shooter events (3 or less injured and/or killed) in the database and 20 mass school shootings (4 or more killed). These are the shootings that grab the headlines and are what is considered and thought of when you hear "school shooting."

 

The database includes fights (spontaneous and feuds) that resulted in a shooting, accidental shootings, suicides, gang-related disputes, police shootings, shootings that have nothing to do with the school other than the location, shootings arising from behavorial problems, drug-related diputes, terrorist acts, domestic disputes, stemming from rejection (or divorce), and many other types of shootings at America's schools. All the way to the right on the spreadsheet is a bibliography of an estimated 50,000 sources (links) which is, by far, the largest bibliography of any school shooting database project. 

 

  When comparing the databases at www.schoolshootingdatabase.com to that of gun control groups like Everytown's Gunfire on School Grounds data, the government's K-12 School Shooting Database, gunviolencearchive.org, or from other database campaigns, such as the Washington Post database, Education Week's School Shooting Tracker, the National School Safety and Security Services' School Associated Violent Deaths and School Shootings (1999-2010), the National School Safety Center's Report on School-Associated Violent Deaths (1992-93 through 2009-10 school year) and columbine-angels.com, you will notice that the database here is the only database of shootings at U.S. schools which has detailed information about the shootings. Several of the databases mentioned above served to be a foundational starting point and great stepping stones to create the database here, especially columbine-angels.com.

 

      I have been through all other school shooting database projects mentioned above and they all conflate on-campus shooting incidents with shootings that happen off campus (sometimes more than a block away) and/or add incidents where a gun was only brandished and not fired. If a gun was not fired and only brandished it should not be classified as a shooting, period! Doing so is very misleading and it partly responsible for the confusion about the subject of school gun violence.

I hope that this information makes a positive difference and adds to the growing field of knowledge and research about shootings occurring at American education institutions and helps protect America's kids and young adults by providing accurate empirical data to help confront, combat and understand the gun violence happening at U.S. schools. I am concerned about ONE THING! The kids and young adults affected by our ineptitude into understanding and solving the problem! We are talking about kids here and they deserve the best out of all of us. 

 

Please excuse incomplete or missing data. I am the sole researcher of this project and the database is obviously very large. This work is NOT done in haste because I am very concerned about the information in the database being accurate so I take my time and to confirm the information is correct. If an error is found please let me know, so I can check it out and correct the mistake.

 

I always appreciate critiques and criticisms of the database. To do so please email me at schoolshootingdatabase@gmail.com or ericlaurine5181@gmail.com

    

*School Shooting Epidemic Chart:

1840-Present Day

(Updated 1-14-2021)

Year Number of All Types of Shootings at U.S. Schools (includes the active shooter & mass killings) Number Killed (all types)

Number

Injured (all types)

Number of Mass School Shootings

(4 or more killed)

Number Killed (mass shootings) Number Injured (mass shootings)

Number of Active Shooter/Mass School Shootings

(2 or more injured and/or killed)

Number Killed (active/mass

shootings)

Number Injured (active/mass

shootings)

1840-1944 (104 years) 145 130 144 1 5 1 4 6 22+
1945-1989 (45 years) 337 208 451 4 32 65 29 60

163

1990-Present Day

(29 years)

1, 323 569 1,140 15 153 137 89 234 355
Totals 1,794 907 1,735 20 190 203 119 300 540

*This chart is for the first 3 databases: Database of All Types of Shootings at America's Schools and Colleges, Mass School Shootings (4 or more killed) & Active Shooter & Mass School Shootings (2 or more injured and/or killed)

'Why We Must Keep School Resource Officers'

Article can be found at the American Thinker or by clicking the following link: 

https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2020/11/why_we_must_keep_school_resource_officers.html

Database of All Types of Shootings at America's Schools and Colleges                                              

The database now has several tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet, including, mass shootings (4 or more killed), other active shooter events (2 or more injured and/or killed-also includes the 20 mass school shootings with 4 or more killed), potential active shooter incidents (where the shooting almost became an active shooter/mass shootings but was stopped by law enforcement, etc...), accidental shootings, suicide shootings, shootings at charter and alternative schools, drive-by shootings, shootings at HBCU's, and more will be added soon. 

Click Below to Access to View Comprehensive Database of All Types of American School Shootings (1840-present day) LAST UPDATED 4-8-2021
Excel spreadsheet with over well 100 columns. The database now has several tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet, including, mass shootings (4 or more killed), other active shooter events (2-3 injured and/or killed), potential active shooter incidents (where the shooting almost became an active shooter/mass shootings but was stopped by law enforcement, etc...), accidental shootings, suicide shootings, shootings at charter and alternative schools, drive-by shootings, shootings at HBCU's, and more will be added soon. I have added over 20 columns recently with 6 NEW columns about SROs and the police. The database documents over 1,800 on-campus shootings, (or at school-sponsored events, like the prom) including 3 bombings, at U.S. schools and colleges in American history dating back to 1840.
SSS-School Shooting Database (Update 4-8[...]
xlsb File [6.3 MB]

You may come across a broken link in the bibliography. I do my best to remove and replace them. 

   Database of Active Shooter and Mass School Shootings at K-12 Schools (1956-2019) Comparing the Effect of Gun-Free Zones Before and After the Gun-Free Schools Zones Act was Passed in 1990 (this dataset will be updated soon)

73 Active Shooter Events at K-12 Schools from 1956-2019
This spreadsheet is of 73 active shooter and mass school shootings (9) at K-12 schools from 1956-2019. This database documents how active shooter events have nearly tripled and how student deaths have increased more than 9 times since gun-free zones legislation was passed in 1990.
SSS-School Shooting Database K-12 School[...]
xlsb File [431.4 KB]

Students' Deaths in Active Shooter Situations More than Nine Times as Likely Since Gun-Free Zones' Chart (chart and article below comes from the database above of 73 Active Shooter Events at K12 Schools from 1956-2019)

Victims Killed and Injured in Active Shooter Events at K-12 Schools Before and After Gun-Free Zones

Date Number of Shootings Students Killed Students Injured Educators Killed Educators Injured

Other School

Employees Killed

(includes SRO's)

OtherSchool

Employees Injured (includes SRO's)
 

Other Victims Killed Other Victims Injured

Before Gun-Free Zones

1956-1989

(33 years)

11 19 76 8 13 4 3 4 13

After Gun-Free Zones

1990-2019

(29 years)

54 102 216 27 20 3 1 1 4

Totals

1956-2019

73 113 292 35 33 7 4 5 17

Students' Deaths in Active Shooter Situations More than Nine Times as Likely Since Gun-Free Zones (published in the American Thinker)

After sending their child off to school the most important concern for parents is their child’s safe return home. Since the Gun-Free School Zones Act became law in 1990 parents of K-12 students have become more than 9 times as likely to suffer the heartbreaking reality that their children might not be coming home because they were killed in a school shooting. An examination of 73 active shooter events at K-12 schools (at least 2 or more killed and/or injured) from 1956-2019, documented at www.schoolshootingdatabase.com, has found that these tragedies have nearly tripled in number since the inception of gun-free zones.
     Yet, gun control groups like The Giffords Law Center, say, “gun-free zones have helped make K–12 schools even safer, significantly reducing gun violence in these places.”   The groups Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action, who also wholeheartedly support gun-free zones, would falsely lead you to believe that “there is no evidence that shooters target these areas.”  But none of these anti-gun organizations offers solid and transparent empirical research to support their claims. Meanwhile, there is plenty of empirical data that proves how dangerous gun-free zones actually are. The Crime Prevention and Research Center also has examined mass shootings and found that “between 1950 and 2018, 97.8 percent of all mass public shooting occurred in gun-free zones.”
     The two time periods looked at were from before gun-free zone legislation was passed from 1956-1989 (nearly 33 years) and after the implementation of gun-free zones from November of 1990-2019 (roughly 29 years). The 73 shootings examined resulted in a total of 160 deaths and 346 injuries, with 113 of the deaths (71%) and 292 of the injuries (84%) being students. In the chart below, you will see that before gun-free zones were enacted, there were 19 active shooter incidents at K-12 schools, killing a total of 27 and injuring 105. Eleven (41%) of the 27 victims killed were students as were 76 (72%) of the injuries. The only mass school shooting (4 or more killed) committed in the Before Gun-Free Zones era was the 1989 Cleveland Elementary School shooting by Patrick Purdy, a mentally ill drifter with an extensive criminal history, which alone accounted for 5 of the 11 student deaths along with 30 of the students injured.
    After gun-free zones became law, the number of active shooter scenarios surged to 54 shootings, as did the body count with 133 victims killed and 241 injured. Student deaths also spiked to 102 (77%) victims and another 216 (90%) students received gunshot injuries after the so-called common-sense reform of gun-free zones legislation was passed. Mass school shootings (4 or more killed) at K-12 schools went from being virtually non-existent, with one attack before gun-free zones, to 9 mass school shootings after the gun reform bill was enacted, ending the lives of 91 people and injuring 80 more. Seventy-five of the 91 victims, (81.5%) who had their dreams cut short, were students, and another 73 (91%) students received injuries, with some of them facing life-long complications, like, lead poisoning from shotgun pellets, multiple surgeries and PTSD.

    With a plethora of empirical data from multiple sources, it’s hard for gun control proponents to deny that America’s schools have became more dangerous since the passage of gun-free zone legislation. They will have to lie to do so. There’s no empirical data showing how gun-free zones or any other gun control measure has been effective and reduced America’s gun violence epidemic. Yet, gun-grabbing advocates still shamelessly take aim, bombard and mislead the American public after every active shooter or mass attack with ever-increasing and louder calls for common-sense gun reform utilizing foolish and outlandish side-show attacks on law-abiding gun-owners and the NRA to distract from having to debate the actual facts of gun violence, which they know are not in their favor.

    Gun-free zones have not become the Utopian theoretical deterrent that was once hoped for, but instead they’ve become lethal advertisements that attract vengeful, active and mass shooters, who seek out unarmed and vulnerable soft targets that gun-free zones so easily provide, to exact their revenge. Although the law seemed to be a bulletproof idea when it was passed by a bi-partisan Congress after being introduced by Senator Joe Biden in October of 1990 and signed into law by President George Bush Senior, shortly thereafter, the consequence has been that America’s K-12 students face a darker reality and their schools have become much more dangerous.        

      With students having become 9 times more likely to be killed and almost 3 times more likely to be injured at school by gunfire in an active and mass shooter situation since the passage of the Gun-Free School Zones Act. Wouldn’t repealing the federal law be the best common-sense measure we could undertake? Repealing gun-free zones would be a simple, inexpensive process and its frankly inexcusable that there is such resistance to a truly common-sense and life-saving idea. Repealing gun-free zones legislation and not repeating the same lethal lessons of past school shootings should be paramount and that should be a common-sense path that we all should be able to agree on.

Spreadsheets of Off campus (or near school) Shootings, No Shots Fired (NSF) Incidents Involving Guns at Schools, & BB Gun Shootings

 Note:  Too often in other research projects BB gun school shootings, incidents where no shots were fired but involve firearms at schools, & shootings that happen just off campus or down the street from the school are included as if they are actual shootings that occurred at a school. The spreadsheets below were constructed to address the misrepresentations and claims of them being misconstrued as actual shootings at schools. Considering these shooting incidents as on-campus shootings effects the honesty and integrity of any research project and causes confusion on a topic that is already extremely complex and difficult to understand. I agree that they should be researched and studied but it should be done separately to ensure the quality of the data. How are to reduce America's school shooting epidemic and help and protect American students by using flawed research methods and biased data? If a shooting is identified as not happening on a school campus, using a bb gun, or where no gun was fired in this research project here (schoolshootingdatabase.com) it is looked into and researched further to confirm its validity. If a shooting in the master database above is identified and confirmed as a bb gun shooting, an incident that a firearm was NOT discharged (or only brandished), or occurred off campus it is first marked and then removed from the database after confirmation it is not a on-campus shooting or happened at a school-sponsored event, (or the firearm was a pellet gun) and then it is placed in the correct database.

NOTE: Due the large volume of shootings in the on-campus database above I no longer add entries in these databases but I do still keep records of off campus incidents, bb gun shootings, etc... when I come across them and if someone is interested in researching these incidents let me know and I wil gladly share them with you.

BB gun School Shootings
BB GUN SCHOOL SHOOTINGS ONLY 3 BINARY.xl[...]
xlsb File [80.5 KB]
No Shots Fired Incidents Involving Firearms at America's schools
NO SHOTS FIRED INCIDENTS INVOLVING GUNS [...]
xlsb File [85.5 KB]
Off Campus (or near) Shootings by America's Schools
OFF CAMPUS SHOOTINGS by Schools BINARY.[...]
xlsb File [86.7 KB]

      Sandy Hook Never Forget artwork done by Mark Panzarino                                      

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