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FBI: Active Shooter Incidents Doubled From 2018 to 2021

The number of victims either killed or wounded last year in active shooter attacks increased by more than 48% compared to 2020.

FBI: Active Shooter Incidents Doubled From 2018 to 2021

Source: Active Shooter Incident in the United States in 2021. FBI

Last year active shooter attacks increased 52.5% compared to the previous year and 103.3% compared to 2018 and 2019, according to new FBI statistics.

In 2021, 61 active shooter incidents were recorded, while in 2020, 40 were recorded. In 2018 and 2019, there were 30 active shooter incidents per year, and in 2017, there were 31 attacks.

The FBI defines an active shooter as one ore more individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people with a firearm in a populated area.

The number of victims either killed or wounded by active shooters last year increased by more than 48% compared to the previous year, from 164 (38 killed and 126 wounded) in 2020 to 243 (103 killed and 140 wounded) in 2021.

Twelve of the active shooter incidents last year were considered “mass killings,” compared to five in 2020.

The shooters last year (and every year) were overwhelmingly male: 60 out of 61 in 2021, and of those who died, 14 were killed by law enforcement, 11 committed suicide, and four were killed by a citizen.

The 2021 active shooter incidents happened in the following states:

  • California: 6
  • Georgia: 5
  • Texas: 5
  • Colorado: 4
  • Florida: 4
  • Indiana: 3
  • Michigan: 3
  • North Carolina: 3
  • Tennessee: 3
  • Alabama: 2
  • Arizona: 2
  • Illinois: 2
  • Maryland: 2
  • Nevada: 2
  • South Carolina: 2
  • One incident each occurred in Arkansas, Connecticut, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin

The mass shooting at Oxford High School in Oxford, Michigan was the active shooter event with the fourth most casualties in 2021 (11), while the FedEx Ground Plainfield Operations Center attack in Indianapolis, Indiana, and Kroger Grocery Store attack in Collierville, Tennessee had the highest number of casualties at 15 per incident.

About the Author

Robin Hattersley Gray
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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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