Sep 17, 2023 - Politics & Policy

U.S. surpasses 500 mass shootings in 2023

Cumulative mass shootings in the U.S.
Data: Gun Violence Archive; Note: Includes incidents where at least four people were shot or killed, excluding the shooter; Chart: Simran Parwani/Axios

There have now been 501 mass shootings in the U.S. this year.

Driving the news: A shooting that wounded four people in Denver, Colorado, on Saturday night marked the country's 500th mass shooting in 2023, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

  • Hours later, that increased to 501 mass shootings after one person died and five others were wounded in El Paso, Texas, early Sunday.

By the numbers: Just five years ago, the country had never experienced 500 mass shootings in one year:

  • 2018: 335 mass shootings
  • 2019: 414 mass shootings
  • 2020: 610 mass shootings
  • 2021: 689 mass shootings
  • 2022: 645 mass shootings

Flashback: The 500 mass shootings threshold was crossed in September in the past two years, according to the archive.

  • In 2020, it occurred in October.

Between the lines: The FBI does not define or quantify what constitutes a mass shooting.

  • Gun Violence Archive, an independent research and data collection organization, defines a mass shooting as a shooting in which four or more people were shot or killed, not including the shooter. This makes its numbers higher than some other sources with varying definitions.

Of note: A January shooting on the eve of Lunar New Year in Monterey Park, California, a largely Asian American area, has caused the most deaths so far in 2023. Eleven people were killed and nine others injured in the massacre.

The big picture: With increasing personal experiences, more Americans view gun violence as a public health concern.

Zoom in: Gun violence has greatly affected children. Firearms are the top killer of kids in the country.

Go deeper: Gun deaths among U.S. children hit a new record high

Go deeper