Study Finds Increase in School Shootings at Colleges in U.S.

The researchers also compiled data on the shooters’ relationship with the college and the demographic of the shooting victims.

Figures from a new study show an increase in the number of shootings on or near college campuses over the last 15 years.

The study, conducted by the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City, looked at 190 incidents where at least one person was shot at 142 colleges from the 2001-2002 school year to the 2015-2016 school year.

“Based on current trends, the problem is likely to become much graver over the next decade,” the study’s authors wrote. “It is imperative that lawmakers, policymakers, college administrators, law enforcement and others begin to have a serious dialogue and enact meaningful reforms to address this epidemic and make America’s colleges safe again.”

The study’s authors cited research showing gun violence can impact academic performance, emotional distress, relationship problems and other disruptions as a reason why campus safety should become more of a priority.

“During the first five school years we examined (2001-02 to 2005-06), there were a total of 40 recorded shooting incidents on or near college campuses,” the authors wrote. “The number of shootings increased 23 percent to 49 incidents during the 2006- 07 to 2010-11 school years. Shootings doubled during the next five school years (2011-12 to 2015- 16), increasing to 101 incidents-a 153 percent increase.”

The number of casualties also increased in that time frame, although results were skewed by the number of victims in the Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University shootings.

The authors also found that 12 states experienced more than five shooting incidents on or near college campuses, which accounts for 64 percent of the 190 total shooting incidents. The most incidents happened on or near campuses in Tennessee (14), California (14), Virginia (13), Georgia (13), North Carolina (11) and Florida (11).

The study showed 59 percent of the shooters were not associated with the college, 28 percent of the shooters were students, nine percent were former students and four percent were employees.

A victim breakdown of the 190 shooting incidents analyzed is included below:

  • 290 victims were students
  • 77 victims were not associated with the college
  • 40 victims were employees
  • Researchers were unable to determine the relationship of 25 victims to the schools
  •   Five victims were former students

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