The startling number of mass shootings reported by Mass Shooting Tracker had the ABC15 newsroom talking. Have there really been more than 350 mass shootings nationwide since January? If so, why can’t we remember more than a handful? It turns out, the definition of a mass shooting may not be what you expect.
Mass Shooting Tracker, the folks who created the database, counts any U.S. mass shooting in which four or more people have been shot. That can range from school shootings to domestic violence. However, the FBI’s 2014 study on Active Shooters used the term, mass killings – in which three or more people died.
Take a look at the map below, which shows every Arizona mass shooting from 2013 to today as a point in blue. Points that can also be defined as mass killings are in green.
As of Nov. 27th the Mass Shooting Tracker database showed 351 mass shootings during 2015, but only 66 of those fell under the FBI’s definition of a mass killing.
As of this writing, in 2015, Arizona saw six shootings in which four or more people were shot. They include a student shooting at NAU, along with murder-suicides and a rampage through the streets of Mesa. Under the FBI’s definition only two are considered mass killings, and both were murder-suicides in a family home.
Click on each point in the map below to get a detailed description of each 2015 mass shooting incident in the state and a link to the related story.