A Timeline Of Mass Shootings In The US Since Columbine

Written by Aviva Shen

On Friday morning, 27 people were reportedly shot and killed at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, CT. According to sources, 18 of these casualties were children. This is the second mass shooting in the US this week, after a gunman opened fire in an Oregon shopping mall on Tuesday, killing 2. ABC News reports that there have been 31 school shootings in the US since Columbine in 1999, when 13 people were killed.

The rate of people killed by guns in the US is 19.5 times higher than similar high-income countries in the world. In the last 30 years since 1982, America has mourned at least 61 mass murders. Below is a timeline of mass shootings in the US since the Columbine High massacre:

December 11, 2012. On Tuesday, 22-year-old Jacob Tyler Roberts killed 2 people and himself with a stolen rifle in Clackamas Town Center, Oregon. His motive is unknown.

September 27, 2012. Five were shot to death by 36-year-old Andrew Engeldinger at Accent Signage Systems in Minneapolis, MN. Three others were wounded. Engeldinger went on a rampage after losing his job, ultimately killing himself.

August 5, 2012. Six Sikh temple members were killed when 40-year-old US Army veteran Wade Michael Page opened fire in a gurdara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Four others were injured, and Page killed himself.

July 20, 2012. During the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, CO, 24-year-old James Holmes killed 12 people and wounded 58. Holmes was arrested outside the theater.

May 29, 2012. Ian Stawicki opened fire on Cafe Racer Espresso in Seattle, WA, killing 5 and himself after a citywide manhunt.

April 6, 2012. Jake England, 19, and Alvin Watts, 32, shot 5 black men in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in racially motivated shooting spree. Three died.

April 2, 2012. A former student, 43-year-old One L. Goh killed 7 people at Oikos University, a Korean Christian college in Oakland, CA. The shooting was the sixth-deadliest school massacre in the US and the deadliest attack on a school since the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre.

October 14, 2011. Eight people died in a shooting at Salon Meritage hair salon in Seal Beach, CA. The gunman, 41-year-old Scott Evans Dekraai, killed six women and two men dead, while just one woman survived. It was Orange County’s deadliest mass killing.

September 6, 2011. Eduardo Sencion, 32, entered an IHOP restaurant in Carson City, NV and shot 12 people. Five died, including three National Guard members.

January 8, 2011. Former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) was shot in the head when 22-year-old Jared Loughner opened fire on an event she was holding at a Safeway market in Tucson, AZ. Six people died, including Arizona District Court Chief Judge John Roll, one of Giffords’ staffers, and a 9-year-old girl. 19 total were shot. Loughner has been sentenced to seven life terms plus 140 years, without parole.

August 3, 2010. Omar S. Thornton, 34, gunned down Hartford Beer Distributor in Manchester, CT after getting caught stealing beer. Nine were killed, including Thornton, and two were injured.

November 5, 2009. Forty-three people were shot by Army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan at the Fort Hood army base in Texas. Hasan reportedly yelled “Allahu Akbar!” before opening fire, killing 13 and wounding 29 others.

April 3, 2009. Jiverly Wong, 41, opened fire at an immigration center in Binghamton, New York before committing suicide. He killed 13 people and wounded 4.

March 29, 2009. Eight people died in a shooting at the Pinelake Health and Rehab nursing home in Carthage, NC. The gunman, 45-year-old Robert Stewart, was targeting his estranged wife who worked at the home and survived. Stewart was sentenced to life in prison.

February 14, 2008. Steven Kazmierczak, 27, opened fire in a lecture hall at Northern Illinois University, killing 6 and wounding 21. The gunman shot and killed himself before police arrived. It was the fifth-deadliest university shooting in US history.

February 7, 2008. Six people died and two were injured in a shooting spree at the City Hall in Kirkwood, Missouri. The gunman, Charles Lee Thornton, opened fire during a public meeting after being denied construction contracts he believed he deserved. Thornton was killed by police.

December 5, 2007. A 19-year-old boy, Robert Hawkins, shot up a department store in the Westroads Mall in Omaha, NE. Hawkins killed 9 people and wounded 4 before killing himself. The semi-automatic rifle he used was stolen from his stepfather’s house.

April 16, 2007. Virginia Tech became the site of the deadliest school shooting in US history when a student, Seung-Hui Choi, gunned down 56 people. Thirty-two people died in the massacre.

February 12, 2007. In Salt Lake City’s Trolley Square Mall, 5 people were shot to death and 4 others were wounded by 18-year-old gunman Sulejman Talović. One of the victims was a 16-year-old boy.

October 2, 2006. An Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster, PA was gunned down by 32-year-old Charles Carl Roberts, Roberts separated the boys from the girls, binding and shooting the girls. 5 young girls died, while 6 were injured. Roberts committed suicide afterward.

March 25, 2006. Seven died and 2 were injured by 28-year-old Kyle Aaron Huff in a shooting spree through Capitol Hill in Seattle, WA. The massacre was the worst killing in Seattle since 1983.

March 21, 2005. Teenager Jeffrey Weise killed his grandfather and his grandfather’s girlfriend before opening fire on Red Lake Senior High School, killing 9 people on campus and injuring 5. Weise killed himself.

March 12, 2005. A Living Church of God meeting was gunned down by 44-year-old church member Terry Michael Ratzmann at a Sheraton hotel in Brookfield, WI. Ratzmann was thought to have had religious motivations, and killed himself after executing the pastor, the pastor’s 16-year-old son, and 7 others. Four were wounded.

July 8, 2003. Doug Williams, a Lockheed Martin employee, shot up his plant in Meridian, MI in a racially-motivated rampage. He shot 14 people, most of them African American, and killed 7.

September 15, 1999. Larry Gene Ashbrook opened fire on a Christian rock concert and teen prayer rally at Wedgewood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, TX. He killed 7 people and wounded 7 others, almost all teenagers. Ashbrook committed suicide.

July 29, 1999. Mark Orrin Barton, 44, murdered his wife and two children with a hammer before shooting up two Atlanta day trading firms. Barton, a day trader, was believed to be motivated by huge monetary losses. He killed 12 including his family and injured 13 before killing himself.

April 20, 1999. In the deadliest high school shooting in US history, teenagers Eric Harris and Dylan Kiebold shot up Columbine High School in Littleton, CO. They killed 13 people and wounded 21 others. They killed themselves after the massacre.

This post was originally published by ThinkProgress.


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Cyan Dickirs
Cyan Dickirs3 years ago

Think progress is a stupid name. There is no thought much less progress. They didn't even get the facts straight on the Columbine shootings. They killed 11 of the students, then they committed suicide, bringing the total dead to 13. They didn't commit suicide after killing 13, but after killing 11. I am positive that many of the "facts" stated in the others listed are equally inaccurate.
Why include Ft Hood? The killer was a Muslim Army psychiatrist-pretty much a contradiction, but nothing like the other shootings. It was clearly Islamist terrorism, disguised as Army officer. If nothing else, the idea of a Muslim psychiatrist should have alarmed someone. It also includes shootings that have never been sensationalized as mass shootings and does not include the many that would have been far worse had it not been for the actions of citizens armed with CCW. It also fails to indicate that most of those shootings have been found to have the killers on various legal drugs, like Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil to name a few among many and that the guns were legal and/or the killers would have passed any background check.

Cyan Dickirs
Cyan Dickirs3 years ago

Linda M You said the US is FASCIST? That is revealing as Fascist Germany started by making gun ownership difficult and registered or demanded they be turned in, then took away all the guns from the citizens, then started moving them into concentration camps and killing them. So far, every Fascist government has had a charismatic demagogue that pretended to be one thing, then took all power under himself.
If, as you say the US is FASCIST, does that make the BO an incipient HITLER?
Where do you get the authority to unilaterally as a socialist/atheist proud Canadian, define & dictate MY government and way of life?

Cyan Dickirs
Cyan Dickirs3 years ago

Pam w. Nick is right, whether you want to believe him or not. Your loss.
You have not a clue about the constitution, its founding and history of the US. If you are now a citizen, I question the test's validity to determine knowledge. You don't even understand when you are being agreed with, much less how poorly informed you are and how you contradict yourself.
I praised Thatcher and you condemned me, while praising Thatcher. You condemn and vilify everyone who is conservative fiscally and socially, yet you praise Thatcher for those very same positions. She and Reagan and most Republicans and Libertarians were either great friends and/or held the same views on all the issues.
The Bill of Rights were insisted upon by the 55 members of the Constitutional convention, to protect individuals and insure their rights that could NEVER be changed or infringed by the central government. There are many writings, documents and discussions concerning the 2nd amendment being included. It was considered most necessary to ensure that all the 10 would remain sacred, unchanged and that government could NEVER become tyrannical, and would always have a healthy respect (fear) of the people and never consider the individuals subjects to be ruled. They never though of collective rights, but individual rights, universal, immutable, inalienable, forever rights & liberties a gift from and granted by GOD.

Duane B.
.4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Annelies Haussler
liessi Haussler4 years ago

Sarah - i really appreciate your efforts to bring healthy discussion back into this forum. Like you, apparently, i consider myself a responsible gun owner. It's not like i hunt or live on a farm but i choose to exercise my right to own them, and with that comes responsibility. Very few of my friends know i own guns and only (besides my spouse) knows where they are. The chances they'll ever end up in the hands of a criminal are incredibly remote. In fact, they're so stashed away that I'd never get to them if someone broke into my home. But there are plenty of other weapons around for that (in a pinch, all it takes to kill someone is the will to see it through). But enough about me.

In Switzerland (neutral country; very low rate of violence, let alone gun violence), compulsory military training means the majority of the country stands as a reserve force. Each of those people have a gun in their home. Every one of those people are trained not only in the safekeeping of a gun but also on the dangers of having one, that it's illegal to use or carry one, and that it's a weapon and not a fashion statement and certainly not to be taken lightly.

Viewed from that perspective, i suspect the problem facing the USA is not guns per se (there are easier ways to commit mass murder - fertilizer, poison, unprotected sex), it's the culture surrounding them that causes the problem. They are symbols of power and by extension, sexual prowess. Because they're projectiles, they're the perfect

Pavel T.
Pavel Tajc4 years ago

All last 14 school shootings had ONE thing in common [something else than guns].
More data here
Please, support petition for proper investigation of school shootings.

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin4 years ago

Yes, this list is horrible for everyone affected and nothing can ever take that pain away from the survivors and families.
But, massacres like these happen every day in countries like Iraq, Afganistan, Somalia, Sudan and it's rarely ever covered with more than a short mention in the media. The families and friends of these casulties suffer as much as any one affected in this country and I always send a warm thought to all of them. Let's not forget that everyone around the world that loses family in shootings, bombings and attacks, have the same grief. I don't see that any of the people living in above mentioned countries are much safer with all the guns around.

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin4 years ago

Sarah R. If the students massacred at Kent State had had guns, there wouldn't be anyone of them alive.
Arming staff at schools haven't helped in several incidents and there's no garantee those guards won't do a postal themselves.
The less amounts of guns in a society, the betterlives for everyone.
A child of mine would never attend a school where guns were present and I have a feeling I'm not alone in that sense.

Anne A.
Anne Armstrong4 years ago

Sarah I don't know which ONE incident you're referring to but Virginia Tech had an armed police force, Columbine had an armed security guard, and you'd have to expect someone was armed at Ft. Hood. I don't know about the other incidents. I don't think teachers want to be armed, whether they're allowed to or not. I know my daughter, a teacher, would not. Since a guard couldn't be everywhere at once should we lock the fire escapes and board up the windows too? I don't buy the line that bad people will do bad things whether or not assault weapons are easily available. On the same day as the Newtown massacre, a guy in China attacked 28 in a school with a knife. The big difference was that nobody died.

Robby C.
Past Member 4 years ago

Sarah- that's b/c your comment is tough to debate. Although I'm sure someone here will eventually try throw some form of BS at it...