active shooter statistics

Active Shooter Statistics, By the Numbers

Active shooter statistics: Between 2000 and 2016, there have been 220 active shooter incidents in the United States, as recorded by the FBI. Of these 220 incidents there are a reported number of casualties of 1,486 which includes both individuals injured and killed. Out of these incidents recorded, 43.2% occurred in businesses and 21.8% has occurred in education. Other locations have included houses of worship, healthcare facilities and government. This then brings up the question, are all of these locations prepared if they are faced with a situation such as an active shooter?

Active Shooter Statistics on the Rise in the U.S.

The FBI defines an active shooter incident as incidents where “one or more individuals actively engage in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area.”

According to the active shooter statistics recorded by the FBI,  the number of active shooter incidents in the United States per year are rising steadily with a few exceptions.

  • 2004, 2008 and 2011 stand out as years with sharp declines in active shooter incidents.
  • 2010 is the year with the highest number of incidents.
  • 2012-2016 has been relatively consistent with the number of incidents being between 17 and 20 per year

What does this mean?

This means that Active Shooter incidents have risen significantly since 2000.

  • In 2000, there was a reported number of 1 active shooter incident.

The number of casualties per year are rising

You would expect for the number of casualties to rise with the number of incidents rising. However, the number of casualties is rising disproportionately to the number of incidents. In fact, even in years when the number of incidents has stayed the same, the number of casualties has risen.

  • In 2014, 2015, and 2016 there were a reported 20 incidents per year.
  • During the years, 2014, 2015, and 2016 there were 97, 134, and 212 casualties, respectively.

What does this mean?

  • Active shooters are committing more mass shootings than they have previously.
  • The public is still not adequately prepared, even with the exposure to these tragedies.


Where did these incidents occur?

According to the data these incidents occur most commonly in commerce, education, open space, government, residences, houses of worship and healthcare facilities.

  • Commerce is the most frequently occurring at 43.2%. Commerce includes business both open and closed to the public; and malls.
  • Education is 2nd at 21.8%, with schools pre-k through 12th grade accounting for ¾ of the total incidents and higher education accounting for ¼.
  • Open space ranks 3rd. This included public spaces such as that which occurred in Las Vegas on October 1st, 2017.
  • Incidents in government at 10.5%
  • Houses of worship and healthcare facilities account for 3.6% and 2.7%, respectively.
  • PDF: Difference between active shooter incidents and mass casualty incidents
  • No commonly recognized definition of mass casualty incidents exists, making their measurement complicated.
  • Federal agencies do not collect data on mass casualty incidents or shootings, but they do collect data on active shooter statistics.
  • Active shooter incidents do not include gang- or drug-related incidents, the accidental discharge of a firearm, or family- and intimate partner-related shootings.
  • Therefore, statistics differ based on from where the information is collected.

However, the statistics draw the same conclusion

Active shooter statistics and mass casualty incidents are rising in the U.S.

What can YOU do about this?

Is your workplace, school or place of worship adequately prepared if an active shooter incident were to occur on premise? Let Guardian Defense help you to get prepared now!


About Steven S. Smith

Steven S. Smith, the President and Founder of Guardian Defense, offers active shooter training programs to staff within schools, colleges, churches, law enforcement agencies, businesses, and hospitals; in order to build confidence and save time in the event of an intruder, active shooter or killer, or other terror attack. Mr. Smith is a current certified law enforcement officer and has a range of experience on school and public safety, and investigation work. He is currently a team leader and instructor on the SWAT Team, for which he joined in 2009. Mr. Smith graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, with a concentration in Criminal Justice, in 2005 from Nova Southeastern University.