May 9, 2023 - Politics & Policy

U.S. on record pace for mass killings

Total mass shootings, by day of the&nbspyear
Data: AP/USA Today/Northeastern University mass killings database. Chart: Recreated from AP

This year has seen more mass killings to date than any other year since 2006, according to a database from USA Today, Northeastern University, and Associated Press.

Driving the news: The killings in 2023 have been driven "exclusively by gun violence," as all 22 incidents of mass murder this year have involved guns, per AP.

Catch up quick: A mass killing is defined as an incident in which four or more victims, not counting the assailant, are killed.

  • These killings can be perpetrated with knives or other weapons, but most are mass shootings.

State of play: The U.S. usually experiences about six mass killings in public places per year, with 10 being the highest it has ever seen in a single year, James Alan Fox, a professor at Northeastern University who oversees the database, told USA Today.

Zoom out: The U.S. experiences a legion of mass shootings every year, with 2023 already seeing high-profile mass shootings in California, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

Go deeper: Remembering the victims of the Allen mall shooting in Texas


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