On May 24, 2022, a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, shook the nation. With just two days left in the school year, a former student armed with an AR-15 style assault rifle took the lives of 19 students and two teachers, physically injured at least 17 others, and left countless families, friends, and a community grief-stricken for their unimaginable loss. In the aftermath of the tragedy, there was significant public criticism of the law enforcement response to the shooting. At the request of then Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on May 29, 2022, that it would conduct a Critical Incident Review (CIR) of the law enforcement response to the mass shooting. Recognizing that “[n]othing can undo the pain that has been inflicted on the loved ones of the victims, the survivors, and the entire community of Uvalde,” the Attorney General stated that the goal of the CIR was to “assess what happened and to provide guidance moving forward.”
This report is NTAC’s second analysis of mass attacks that were carried out in public spaces, and it builds upon Mass Attacks in Public Spaces – 2017 (MAPS-2017). In MAPS-2017, NTAC found that attackers from that year were most frequently motivated by grievances related to their workplace or a domestic issue. All of the attackers had recently experienced at least one significant stressor, and most had experienced financial instability. Over three-quarters of the attackers had made threatening or concerning communications, and a similar number had elicited concern from others. Further, most had histories of criminal charges, mental health symptoms, and/or illicit substance use or abuse.
The number of active shooter incidents in schools (ASIS) has remained steady over the past 18 years, with an average of 2.8 shootings per year. ASIS are most likely to happen at the high school level or higher (37 out of 52). The average deaths from ASIS was 7.4; however, this includes the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting and the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, where 32 and 26 people died, respectively. Most of the deaths from ASIS resulted during incidents that met the threshold for a mass killing (81 percent).
On October 1, 2017, over 22,000 people gathered for a music festival at a 15-acre, open-air concert venue in Las Vegas, Nevada. On the final night of the festival, Stephen Craig Paddock opened fire into the crowd from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. The gunfire started around 10:05 p.m. and continued for approximately eleven minutes, with Paddock firing over 1,000 rounds. Fifty-eight persons were killed and several hundred more were injured. As responding law enforcement officers assembled in the hallway outside of his hotel room, Paddock committed suicide.
On February 14, 2018, fourteen students and three staff members at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida were fatally shot and seventeen others were wounded, in one of the deadliest school massacres in United States’ history. The gunman Nikolas Cruz, age 19 at the time of the incident, was a former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Cruz was a troubled child and young adult who displayed aggressive and violent tendencies as early as 3-years-old. Cruz struggled in academics and attended several schools. There are reports of behavioral issues at all of the schools he attended. He was under the care of mental health professionals from age 11 until he turned age 18 and refused further services. At 2:19 p.m. on February 14, 2018, Cruz exited an Uber ride sharing service at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School armed with a rifle and several hundred rounds of ammunition concealed in a rifle bag. He entered the school through an unstaffed gate that had been opened for school dismissal and made his way towards building 12 on the North side of campus. He entered the east side of building 12 through an unlocked and unstaffed door. He made his way through all three floors firing into classrooms and hallways and killing or wounding 34 individuals. He exited building 12 and ran across campus, blending in with students evacuating. Cruz was apprehended approximately 1 hour and 16 minutes after the first shots and charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder.
In 2017 there were 30 separate active shootings in the United States, the largest number ever recorded by the FBI during a one-year period.1 With so many attacks occurring, it can become easy to believe that nothing can stop an active shooter determined to commit violence. “The offender just snapped” and “There’s no way that anyone could have seen this coming” are common reactions that can fuel a collective sense of a “new normal,” one punctuated by a sense of hopelessness and helplessness. Faced with so many tragedies, society routinely wrestles with a fundamental question: can anything be done to prevent attacks on our loved ones, our children, our schools, our churches, concerts, and communities?
As Engineer Schuck walked up the hallway of the 100 Wing, he observed Security Officer Campos poke his head out of an alcove. Engineer Schuck then heard rapid gunfire coming from the end of the 100 Wing hallway that lasted approximately 10 seconds. When the gunfire stopped, he heard Security Officer Campos tell him to take cover. Engineer Schuck stepped into an alcove and gunfire again erupted down the hallway coming from Room 32-135. The gunfire lasted a few seconds then stopped. The gunfire started again after a brief pause, but Engineer Schuck believed it was directed outside and not down the hallway. Meanwhile, inside the Las Vegas Village over 50 Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) personnel were on overtime assignments for the Route 91 Harvest music festival being held at the Las Vegas Village venue. The initial gunshots were heard on an officer’s body worn camera (BWC). As the suspect (Stephen Paddock) targeted the concertgoers with gunfire, officers quickly determined they were dealing with an active shooter and broadcast the information over the radio.
As with past FBI active shooter-related publications, this report does not encompass all gun-related situations. Rather, it focuses on a specific type of shooting situation. The FBI defines an active shooter as one or more individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area. Implicit in this definition is the shooter’s use of one or more firearms. The active aspect of the definition inherently implies that both law enforcement personnel and citizens have the potential to affect the outcome of the event based upon their responses to the situation.
Over the past few years, there has been a definitive rise in school shooting incidents – specifically ‘Active Shooter’ or ‘Rampage Shooting’ events – but while the motives may have evolved, school violence is anything but new. With captive targets, a predictable attack environment, and little to no security hurdles, schools have long been a lucrative environment for violence. Recently though, the violent trend seems to be more popular amongst those with erroneous notions of vengeance, mental instability, and those seeking copycat infamy more than the staunch ideologist typically seen in other types of violent extremism. With that in mind, this joint Washington State Fusion Center (WSFC) and Oregon TITAN Fusion Center (TITAN) assessment intends to aid law enforcement and private and public sector security in understanding the various intricacies of the new-aged active or rampage shooter, how to recognize the signs, and what current measures are being taken to help mitigate the threat.
On October 1, 2017, over 22,000 people came together to enjoy a country music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada. On the third and final night of the festival, a lone gunman opened fire into the crowd from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. The gunfire continued for over ten minutes, resulting in the deaths of 58 innocent concert goers and injuring more than 700. With law enforcement closing in, the suspect took his own life.
In the year since Sandy Hook, there have been a combined total of 22 actual school attacks and disrupted plots nationwide with some of the attacks resulting in the deaths of students and school personnel. The New Jersey Regional Operations Intelligence Center (ROIC) has examined recent reporting on the Sandy Hook attack and the incidents over the last year and provides the following analysis to law enforcement, school resource officers (SROs), and administrators to assist in school security planning efforts.
One of the most serious threats facing New Jersey and the entire U.S. Homeland continues to be that of the active shooter, regardless of motivation, who by the very nature of their associated tactics, techniques, and procedures, pose a serious challenge to security personnel based on their ability to operate independently, making them extremely difficult to detect and disrupt before conducting an attack.
The New Jersey Regional Operations Intelligence Center (NJ ROIC) provides the following updated analysis of mass shootings in the last year (December 2012 to October 2013) in order to provide law enforcement personnel, security managers and emergency personnel with identified commonalities and trends, as well as indicators of potential violence.
The purpose of this report is to identify the person or persons criminally responsible for the twenty-seven homicides that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut, on the morning of December 14, 2012, to determine what crimes were committed, and to indicate if there will be any state prosecutions as a result of the incident. Since December 14, 2012, the Connecticut State Police and the State’s Attorney’s Office have worked with the federal authorities sharing responsibilities for various aspects of this investigation. Numerous other municipal, state and federal agencies assisted in the investigation. The investigation materials reflect thousands of law enforcement and prosecutor hours. Apart from physical evidence, the materials consist of more than seven-hundred individual files that include reports, statements, interviews, videos, laboratory tests and results, photographs, diagrams, search warrants and returns, as well as evaluations of those items.
A statistical analysis of school shootings released in August by the Los Angeles Joint Regional Intelligence Center (LAJRIC) studied school shootings throughout the U.S. from January 2008 to August 2013. In that five-year span, there were 85 school shootings that took place in 29 states, a majority of the country, with most states experiencing between one and three incidents over the last five years. California ranked highest with 18 incidents, followed by Michigan and Tennessee. The majority of school shootings, about 52%, took place at high schools, with the rest equally distributed between colleges/universities and elementary/middle schools.
From January 2008 to August 2013, 85 school shootings took place across the United States involving 97 attackers. Incidents analyzed met the definition of targeted school violence, including gang‐related shootings. “Targeted violence” is any incident of violence where an attacker selects a particular target prior to the violent attack. The number of incidents peaked at 29 in 2009 and have decreased to an average of 14 per year; two incidents have occurred this year to date.
Analysis conducted by the Central Florida Intelligence Exchange (CFIX) has found that 79% of mass shootings since 2011 have been perpetrated by individuals with “demonstrated signs of continuous behavioral health issues and mental illness.” In a July case study titled “Acts of Violence Attributed by Behavioral and Mental Health Issues”, CFIX analyzed 14 mass shooting incidents that occurred between 2011 and 2013 finding that only three of the shooters had no history of mental illness.
(U//FOUO) Central Florida Intelligence Exchange Analysis: Violence Attributed by Behavioral and Mental Health Issues
The purpose of this bulletin is to increase the awareness and improve response to acts of violence perpetrated by individuals acting out in violent behavior towards healthcare providers and emergency responders. This bulletin provides an analytical overview of significant acts of violence, specifically throughout the Central Florida region, statewide (FL), a nationwide perspective from 2009 – 2013, and statistical analysis of notorious mass shooting incidents throughout the U.S. attributed by claims of mental illness.
This report examines the 29 deadliest mass shootings in the past 13 years, starting with the shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999, to identify commonalities and trends. These 29 incidents include shooting incidents in which at least five people were killed.