With nearly eight weeks until the end of the year, 2017 is the most deadly year for mass killings in the U.S. in more than a decade, USA Today reports. Sunday’s shooting at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Tx. raised the total of victims lost in mass killings this year to 208. Last year saw 188 people lost in such attacks.
Since 2006, the newspaper has tracked a total of 358 mass killings that have claimed the lives of 1,883 people. The cases include shootings, stabbings, fires and blunt-force attacks, among others, in 45 states and the District of Columbia. They date back to a Jan. 1, 2006, stabbing in Richmond, Va., that killed four people. Three of the five largest killings — in Sutherland Springs, Las Vegas and Orlando, Fl. — have taken place since June 2016. Taken together, the three large attacks have claimed 133 lives. USA Today used FBI data, which defines a mass killing as one claiming four or more victims, not including the perpetrator or perpetrators. About one in three killers does not leave the scene alive. One in four commits suicide, while others die at the hands of police. Still more are deemed incompetent due to mental illness. On average, there has been a mass killing about once every two weeks. Most are domestic disputes gone horribly wrong: The majority of cases are breakups, estrangements and family arguments that turn violent.