Over the last 13+ 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 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 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 the term "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 with one shooting occurring 13 blocks away from the school where the shooting supposedly happened), BB gun incidents 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. Doing so is very misleading and it is 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 that it helps to protect America's kids and young adults by providing accurate empirical data to 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. But that is not what they are getting considering the partisan nature of the gun debate to nowhere and the lackadaisical, neglectful and anti-science academic approach from many academic researchers and especially activists regarding documenting school gun violence (in all of its forms). Both sides in the gun debate are frankly self-serving and explotative and the same can be said activist groups and most gun violence researchers. The gun debate has been going on for several decades now with no end in sight as both sides profit off the violence due to fundraising, the selling T-shirts, the writing of books, etc... while the root causes of the shootings are ignored and the violence at American schools worsens.
I have no issue if a book or whatever is fact-based and truthful but most books about school shootings or school gun violence are not. See the 2-14-1883 shooting entry in the database here at the Ponca Creek School House in Florence, NE (in the Notes column) to see where a supposed school shooting "experts" incorrectly claim that an accidental shooting at a school in 1883 was a mass school shooting, "killing three." The shooting involved a snowball fight and a very dumb (but not malicious) choice by Len Harbuagh to brandish and point a needlegun to scare the kids engaged in the snowball fight. No one died that day ,as the article the authors themselves cite in the book, "Criminally Careless" clearly states but there were 3 students that were injured (with two having less serious wounds) even giving their names the the path of the lone bullet fired that day. Harbaugh later apologized and felt awful about it, To my knowledge a correction has never been made by the authors to correct the error.
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. I recently took a break from documenting school gun violence incidents so 2020 and 2021 have very limited shootings incidents documented. In a few months I will have the the database updated.
It is important and vital that School Shooting Database is only used for the purpose to better
understand or hopefully prevent shootings at schools. By downloading the database you agree to the following terms:
-All information must be acknowledged and cited appropriately.
-Users agree not to sell, license, sub-license or otherwise distribute the database
-Users agree to not use School Shooting Database for commercial purposes.
Thank you for downloading School Shooting Database. Hopefully, this information assists in understanding all types of shootings occurring at American schools and colleges and makes a positive difference to prevent gun violence and other senseless violence.
If you do use School Shooting Database please give credit where credit is due. The sole and principal investigator/researcher of School Shooting Database is Eric Laurine
School Shooting Database is updated, modified and improved constantly as new information becomes available. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 740-317-2406 if a mistake is found, so it can be checked out and corrected.
I always appreciate critiques and criticisms of the database. You can contact me at email@example.com or 740-317-2406
School Shooting Chart:
|Year||Number of All Types of Shootings at U.S. Schools (includes the active shooter & mass killings)||Number Killed (all types)||
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
Number Injured (active/mass
|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||
'Why We Must Keep School Resource Officers'
Article can be found at the American Thinker or by clicking the following link:
You may come across a broken link in the bibliography. I do my best to remove and replace them.
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||
Employees Injured (includes SRO's)
|Other Victims Killed||Other Victims Injured|
Before Gun-Free Zones
After Gun-Free Zones
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.