Data

Data Content

We use the following definition in order to identify a mass shooting incident: A mass shooting incident involves an active shooter who shot 3 or more people in a single event.

Our spatial database houses quantitative and qualitative information about mass shooting incidents in the United States. Each row in our database represents a mass shooting event, and each column presents an attribute about the incident, such as the shooter's age, weapons used, and place type where the incident occurred. For some fields, we provide a detailed description, others a general category or numerical value.

The database begins with the 1966 mass shooting event at the University of Texas at Austin, which resulted in a staggering 16 victim fatalities and 32 wounded by gunshot. The timing of the event allowed us to create a more comprehensive database, and its occurrence on school grounds made it an obvious starting place for the project, as it was conceived after the devastating events of shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The database is not yet complete and we continue to collect incident data as they arise.

A partial extract of the data is shown in the table below. Please visit our Metadata section for further information about the database. If you would like a copy of our data, fill out the form on the Data Access section of the website.

Dataset extract
Number of fatalities Location Description Date Shooter age Shooter sex Type of weapon Injured Fate
21 San Ysidro, California The San Ysidro McDonald’s massacre was a mass murder … 7/18/1984 41 Male 1 handgun, 1 assault pistol, 1 shotgun Killed by police
13 Littleton, Colorado Two teenage schoolboys shot and killed 12 schoolmates … 4/20/1999 17 Male 1 assault pistol, 1 rifle, 2 shotguns 24 Killed self
32 Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, Virginia A student shot and killed 32 people and wounded 15 … 4/16/2007 23 Male 2 handguns 17 Killed self
23 Killeen, Texas A man drove his truck through a window at a Luby’s … 10/16/1991 35 Male 2 handguns 22 Killed self


Data sources​

  • New York Times
  • Los Angeles Times
  • Think Progress Online
  • ​San Jose Mercury News
  • The Nation
  • The Washington Post
  • Citizens Crime Commission of New York City
  • Mother Jones
  • Policymic
  • The Huffington Post
  • USA Today
  • Denver Post
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • FBI documents