FBI Finds Active Shooter Casualties Increased in 2022
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) released its latest report on active shooter incidents, finding that while the overall number of incidents decreased from 2021, there were more casualties from such events in 2022 than in any of the last four years.
In the report—published on Wednesday, 26 April—the FBI designated 50 shootings from 2022 as active shooter incidents. Compared to the 61 active shooter incidents that occurred in 2021, this represents an 18 percent drop.
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In 2022, casualties climbed up to 313, the highest number between 2018 to 2022, according to the report. While the overall number of deaths declined from the previous year, “the number remains above the average (82.25) for the period 2019-2021,” the report, Active Shooter Incidents in the United States in 2022, said.
The shootings occurred across a wide range of environments, including commerce, education, government sites, healthcare facilities, houses of worship, open spaces, and residences. “Based on location, 46 percent of the incidents occurred in open spaces (23), followed by 28 percent in commerce (14), 8 percent in education and residences (four), 4 percent in houses of worship and government (two), and 2 percent in healthcare (one),” the report said.
The findings also noted that the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, resulted in the highest number of deaths and the second-highest number of total casualties, with 21 killed and 17 wounded. The active shooting in Highland Park, Illinois—where the attacker used a rifle to shoot at people during a Fourth of July parade—caused the most casualties in 2022; it left seven people dead and wounded another 48.
Of the total casualties, 2022's active shootings left 100 people dead and 218 injured.
Law enforcement was not exempt from the dead and wounded—in 2022, one officer died and another 21 were injured in these incidents.
And in terms of locations where the shootings occurred, Texas was the state with the highest number of incidents (six). Tied for second were Arizona, Florida, Michigan, and New York, which all had three active shooter incidents.
The report noted that in terms of timing, May 2022 saw the highest number of incidents (nine). In addition, “incidents occurred on every day of the week, with Sunday having the highest number of incidents (12).”
The report also looked at the perpetrators and found that among the 50 shooters, 47 of them were male (94 percent). The shooters ranged from ages 15 to 70 years old.
“In 24 incidents (48 percent), the shooter had a known connection to the location and/or at least one victim, whereas in 26 incidents (52 percent), there was no known connection identified,” the report said.
A separate study from Boston University found that the rates of gun assaults on minors “roughly doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to NPR. The study “included a review of gun assaults between March 2020 and December 2021 in Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and New York.”
With the details laid out concerning active shootings in 2022, and 2023 already seeing high numbers of incidents, the FBI stressed the importance for citizens, first responders, and law enforcement to engage in active assailant training and exercises.