Updated Oct 26, 2023 - Politics & Policy

The deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history

People watch the procession carrying the body of Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus, who was killed in the mass shooting

People watch the procession carrying the body of Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus, who was killed in the Thousand Oaks mass shooting. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Shootings at a bar and a bowling alley in Lewiston, Maine, have left at least 18 people dead and 13 injured in the deadliest mass shooting of 2023 thus far.

The big picture: Mass shootings are becoming deadlier and far more common. There were a total of eleven shootings in which at least 12 people died between 1949 and 2011. There have been 14 since then — more than one per year — including the 2017 shooting at a Las Vegas hotel that left 60 dead.

America's deadliest modern mass shootings

  1. Route 91 Harvest music festival, Las Vegas, October 2, 2017: 60 killed, more than 850 injured.
  2. Pulse, Orlando, Fla., June 2016: 49 killed and 53 injured.
  3. Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va., April 2007: 32 killed and 17 injured on campus.
  4. Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown, Conn., December 2012: 26 killed.
  5. First Baptist Church, Sutherland Springs, Texas, November 2017: 26 killed and 20 injured.
  6. Luby's Cafeteria, Killeen, Texas, October 1991: 23 killed.
  7. Walmart, El Paso, Texas, August 3, 2019: 23 killed, 26 injured.
  8. McDonald's, San Ysdiro, Calif., July 1984: 21 killed.
  9. Robb Elementary School, Uvalde, Texas, May 24, 2022: 21 killed.
  10. Schemengees Bar and Sparetime Recreation, Lewiston, Maine, October 2023: 18 killed and at least 13 injured.
  11. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Fla., February 2018: 17 killed.
  12. University of Texas Tower, Austin, Texas, August 1966: 16 killed around campus.
  13. Inland Regional Center, San Bernardino, Calif., December 2015: 14 killed.
  14. Edmond post office, Edmond, Okla., August 1986: 14 killed.
  15. Fort Hood, Fort Hood, Texas, November 2009: 13 killed.
  16. Columbine High School, Littleton, Colo., April 1999: 13 killed.
  17. Binghamton Civic Association, Binghamton, N.Y., April 2009: 13 killed.
  18. New Jersey neighborhood and local shops, Camden, N.J, September 1949: 13 killed.
  19. Schoolhouse Lane neighborhood and Heather Highlands Mobile Home Village, Wilkes-Barre, Pa., September 1982: 13 killed.
  20. Wah Mee club in the Louisa hotel, Seattle, Wash., February 1983: 13 killed.
  21. Century 16 movie theater, Aurora, Colo., July 2012: 12 killed, 58 wounded.
  22. Star Ballroom Dance Studio, Monterey Park, Calif., January, 2023: 12 killed, 9 injured.
  23. Navy Yard, Washington, D.C., September 2013: 12 killed, 8 wounded.
  24. The Borderline Bar & Grill, Thousand Oaks, Calif., November 2018: 12 killed, several wounded.
  25. Virginia Beach Municipal Center, Virginia Beach, Va., May 2019: 12 killed.

This article was first published in October 2017 and has been updated several times after more recent shootings. The Vegas and El Paso tolls were updated in November 2019 and April 2020, respectively, after the victims died of injuries sustained in the attacks.

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