Mass shootings in the U.S. since 1949

On Sept. 6, 1949, in only 12 minutes, Howard Unruh shot and killed 13 people, including three children. The World War II veteran would not be the last to spread such carnage.

From then until the infamous massacre of elementary students at Newtown, there have been 65 mass shootings in the United States, defined by the FBI as four killings or more with no cooling-off period. This does not include serial murders or spree killings. In that span, mass shooters took 519 lives and wounded 517 more.

The interactive map below provides details on all the  incidents available from public records and other published material.

Each red dot on the map marks an incident. Click the dot for more details about the shooting. Zoom in and out of a location by using the zoom tool on the left side of the map, or by double-clicking the location of interest.

The majority of the shooters listed here were already diagnosed with or showing signs of mental illness, according to reports. A handful were former military personnel and more than half committed suicide at the end of the spree. Nearly all the shooters were white and all were male with the exception of one. (The latter was in 2006 at a postal facility in California.)

Although much information is still unclear, most of the firearms known to be used were purchased legally, with 51 percent of total firearms being handguns, 12 percent rifles and 10 percent shotguns.

There were eight mass shootings in 2012, killing 72 people, the highest since the five in 1999, killing 44. Since the massacre from the University of Texas Tower in 1966, there have been 10 mass school shootings.

Of all the mass shootings on the map, Connecticut has witnessed three within 14 years. In the latest, on Dec. 14 in Newtown, 20 young children and 6 educators were fatally shot; the shooter killed his mother earlier in the day and committed suicide after the carnage. Before Newtown was the Hartford Beer Distributor shooting in 2010 that killed 8 and wounded 2, and the shooting at the Connecticut Lottery headquarters in 1998 in which 4 died.

Three sources listed below were primarily used in compiling the data, along with various other news sources:


This is a link to all the data in the interactive map:

The data on each incident includes a link to the information’s source. In some instances, more than one source was used.

Follow Michael Gambina on Twitter @msgambina


The shooting deaths of 20 schoolchildren and six of their faculty at Sandy Hook Elementary School have prompted the governor and Connecticut legislature to seek ways to reduce gun violence. This is one of an ongoing series to inform that effort.

Part 1: Connecticut guns sales increasing every year.

Part 2:Most Killings are with handguns not rifles