Since 1970, 202 people have been killed and 454 were injured in 111 school attacks planned by assailants who fired indiscriminately, the New York Times reports. Last year was particularly violent: 29 people were killed and 48 were injured in Parkland, Fl.; Santa Fe, Tx.; and Benton, Ky. Such shootings are rare relative to the larger universe of gun violence at schools, but they are common enough that lockdown drills and “run, hide, fight” exercises are part of the school experience. A school shootings database compiled by the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security is the most comprehensive of its kind. Researchers aimed to document all instances of gunfire at K-12 schools since 1970, a total of more than 1,300 cases.
The Times identified the 111 cases that met the FBI’s definition for an active-shooter scenario. It excluded episodes that fit more typical patterns of gun violence such as targeted attacks, gang shootings and suicides. These events account for only a small fraction of the episodes of gun violence that children experience in U.S. schools. Other cases might include a student showing off a gun to friends, the accidental discharge of a school resource officer’s gun, or a gang-related drive-by shooting at a bus stop. “There are shootings that occur in very wealthy counties and very poor counties, ones that happen in very diverse areas and very homogenous areas,” said David Riedman, a co-creator of the database.