IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Mass shootings are on the rise: FBI

More than 1,000 people have been killed or wounded in mass shootings that have occurred in the past 13 years.
People hold candles as they view a growing memorial on July 21, 2012, near the movie theater in Aurora, Colo. where a gunman killed at least 12 people and wounded dozens of others. (Photo by Ted S. Warren/AP)
People hold candles as they view a growing memorial on July 21, 2012, near the movie theater in Aurora, Colo. where a gunman killed at least 12 people and wounded dozens of others in one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history.

Shooting incidents when a gunman kills or wounds multiple people are becoming more frequent in the United States, specifically in the workplace or at schools, the FBI confirmed in a new report that examined mass tragedies in the past 13 years.

The "Active-Shooter Study," released late Wednesday, analyzed 160 incidents in the United States from 2000 to 2013, including the fatal shootings at Virginia Tech, Fort Hood, Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, Sandy Hook Elementary School, the Aurora movie theater and the Washington Navy Yard. An average of 6.4 incidents occurred annually during the first seven years of the study. And about 16.4 shootings happened each year during the last seven years.

An "active-shooter situation," according to the FBI, is when individuals are engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in populated areas. These incidents exclude shootings related to gang or drug violence. All but six of the 160 incidents examined by the FBI were caused by male shooters, and only two involved multiples shooters.

The tragedies resulted in 1,043 casualties — 486 deaths and 557 wounded — when excluding the shooters.

Almost half — 45.6% — of the incidents took place in a commercial environment, and about 25% occurred in an educational setting. The remaining shootings happened in open spaces, military or other government properties, residences, houses of worship and health care facilities. 

The Associated Press first reported the story.

The purpose of the report, which the FBI began earlier this year, was to provide law enforcement officials with data that will help them to improve their preparation and response to the situations, as well as to present government officials, emergency personnel, employers, educators and students with a better understanding of how the incidents develop.

Related: Why aren’t mass shootings called terrorism?

In an effort to strengthen prevention efforts around the country, the FBI's behavioral analysis team will now explore the gunmen's motives using results from the report.

Everytown for Gun Safety released a study earlier this year that revealed there were at least 110 mass shootings between January 2009 and July 2014, or about one to two shootings each month for the past six years. The pro-reform gun group used FBI and media reports to analyze mass tragedies in the country for the given time frame.

The FBI released its analysis this week as the national debate about gun rights remains at a standstill. But shooting rampages continue across the country. Congress failed to pass a bipartisan background checks bill last year, just months after the December 2012 massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. Some states have passed new reform measures that tighten gun restrictions, while others have enacted laws that weaken regulations.

study published in September found that the United States has more guns and gun deaths than any other developed country in the world. The two leading researchers who worked on the report discovered that the country has 89 guns per 100 people and 10 gun-related deaths per 100,000 people.

Click here for the full results of the FBI's study.