Mass Shootings Have Nearly Tripled Since '06: FBI

Most are over before cops arrive, report finds
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2014 7:05 AM CDT
Updated Sep 25, 2014 7:51 AM CDT
Mass Shootings Have Skyrocketed Since '06: FBI
In this July 20, 2012, photo, an Aurora, Colo., police officer talks on his radio outside the Century 16 movie theater at the scene of a mass shooting.   (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

Mass shootings really are on the rise, according to a new FBI report. There has been an average of nearly one mass shooting a month in America this century and the rate has risen dramatically in recent years, the report released yesterday says. The agency says it identified a total of 160 "active shooter" incidents—defined as "an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area"—since 2000, and found most happened in a matter of minutes, and around two-thirds of them were over before police arrived, reports the Wall Street Journal. There were an average of 6.4 mass shootings a year between 2000 and 2006, not including gang violence and domestic incidents, but the rate soared to an average of 16.4 a year between 2007 and 2013, according to the report, which the FBI says aims to help law enforcement agencies "prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from these incidents."

A total of 486 people were killed and 557 wounded in the incidents, notes the New York Times, not including the shooters, 40% of whom committed suicide. Only six of the shooters were women. At a briefing yesterday, an FBI behavioral analyst said that many shooters "have a real or perceived deeply held personal grievance and the only remedy that they can perceive for that grievance is an act of catastrophic violence against a person or an institution," CNN reports. Chillingly, he explained that the "copycat phenomenon is real" and there appear to be a growing number of "compromised and marginal individuals who are seeking inspiration from these past attacks." (Read more mass shootings stories.)

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