Mass shootings becoming more deadly in last 2 years, FBI report shows

Number of mass shootings aren't increasing, the victims are

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A memorial to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting on the Vegas Strip on Oct. 6, 2017.

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Federal Bureau of Investigation released its annual report Thursday on active shooter incidents for the last two years, showing that while the number of mass killings didn’t rise, they are becoming increasing more deadly.

FBI officials said they released the report to “provide clarity” and show the value of local, state and federal law enforcement and first responders to neutralize "threats posed by active shooters and save lives during such incidents.”

The report, produced along with Texas State University, included two of the deadliest active shooter incidents in modern U.S. history: Pulse nightclub and the Las Vegas country festival.

The number of “mass killing” incidents stayed the same from 2014 to 2017 at 20 incidents every two years, but the number of victims killed and injured quadrupled, according to the FBI report, which defined causalities as those killed and wounded.

From 2014 to 2015, 231 people were considered casualties in active shooter situations, from 2016 to 2017, that number jumped to 943.

In the last two years, 221 people were killed in active shooter incidents, up from 92 killed in 2014 and 2015. Almost half of those fatalities are attributed to two shootings: Orlando and Las Vegas.

REPORT: Active Shooter Incidents in the United States in 2016 and 2017

The 50 perpetrators of gun violence in the report were not included in those totals.

On the evening of June 11, 2016, 29-year-old Omar Mateen drove from his home in Fort Pierce, intending to target Disney Springs, but due to law enforcement presence at the Disney property, he moved on later opening fire at Pulse nightclub just after 2 a.m. June 12.

[TIMELINE: New videos show Pulse nightclub gunman prepping for attack]

The FBI later declared this a terrorist attack, because Mateen declared his allegiance to the Islamic State during and before the shooting.

During a three-hour standoff, the gunman killed 49 people and injured more than 50 others before Orlando police SWAT killed Mateen.

More than one year after the worst mass shooting in recent U.S. history, Stephen Paddock, 64, opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest Festival on Oct. 1, 2017 from a Mandalay Bay suite, killing 58 and wounding hundreds more. Paddock fatally shot himself as law enforcement closed in. His motive is still unknown.

Florida, California and Texas all had more than five active shooter incidents, according to the report. Of the 50 incidents, they happened in 21 states.

After the number of civilians injured and killed, the next number that saw a sharp rise was the number of law enforcement officers killed and wounded during active shooter incidents.

From 2014 to 2015, three officers were killed. In the last two years 13 died in active shooter incidents. The number of injured officers also doubled in the last two years.

The report attributed the July 2016 shooting at a Dallas, Texas protest as an example of the dramatic spike in law enforcement injuries and fatalities.

“The highest number of law enforcement casualties in a single active shooter incident since 2000 occurred in 2016, when five law enforcement officers were killed and nine law enforcement officers were wounded,” the conclusion of the report reads.

The report did not detail the motives of the shooters, only saying, “the shooter’s ages spanned decades” and that of the 50 active shooter incidents, all of the perpetrators were male and acted alone.

The FBI analysis also did not review the types of firearms or accessories, such as bump stocks or speed loaders, used to injure and kill 943 people in the last two years. The report defines firearms used by the gunmen as rifles, shotguns and handguns.

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