FBI releases report examining 20 years of active shooter incidents
AUSTIN, Texas - The FBI released its 20-year review of active shooter incidents. The report shows an increase in incidents over the past two decades.
"The number of incidents is increasing and also the number of casualties, and that would be the number of wounded and killed has increased. For instance, in 2000, 16 individuals were killed and two were wounded. In 2019, which is the last year of complete data, 102 were killed and 156 were wounded." said Special Agent Michelle Lee.
Of the 333 active shooting incidents the FBI examined from 2000 to 2019, 1023 people were killed, 1703 wounded. 135 incidents were considered mass killings -- meaning three or more people were killed at the same time.
"If we expect the trends to continue in the future, we are going to continue to see more frequent incidents and unfortunately a higher number of casualties," said Lee.
The report found active shootings were most likely to occur inside businesses open to pedestrian traffic.
The second most common place active shootings occurred was an "open space." The number of incidents that took place in open spaces was half of what took place in businesses that allowed pedestrian traffic, however, the number of casualties doubled.
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Lee points to the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting as an example of an open space shooting that left victims with few options as a gunman fired more than a thousand rounds of ammunition, killing dozens, wounding hundreds.
The report states the third most common place for an active shooting is a school.
"I think this is the most significant fear for all parents," said Lee. Adding that it is important to speak with loved ones and to develop a plan to "run, fight, or hide."
"The public should take note of [the report] and recognize that at any point in time, regardless of where you are, a shooting can occur."
The FBI compiled data for the report. Lee says it did not look at causation, and why active shootings are up.
"Anecdotally, we know that whenever high caliber weapons are used in a shooting that they do inflict significant injuries which are often not survivable. However, we did note over a 20-year-period that most of the weapons that were used were handguns."
Handguns accounted for 67 percent of weapons used. 38 percent of shooters used multiple weapons. 11 of those shooters used or had access to additional devices, like explosives.