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Mass shootings in America since WWII

Column: Pothole Prairie

The tragedy that happened Friday in Aurora, Colo., prompted a few “worst mass shooting” headlines, and that made me want to know what are the worst mass shootings. I had recalled a deadlier shooting in the news from my youth. It was at a McDonald’s in San Ysidro, Calif., where a man shot 21 people before the police shot him.

To be sure, the stories I saw didn’t call the Aurora shooting the worst mass shooting, but they said it was one of the worst.

There is no doubt that the shooting in Colorado was horrific and painful to all Americans. And there is no doubt there is plenty of debate over gun laws to come in the weeks and months ahead. Regardless of that debate, mass shootings make me think: How did these killers end up with that kind of firepower?

But, for now, I wanted to set politics aside and look up the answers on mass shootings, not merely mass murders such as the Oklahoma City bombing, but just the mass shootings, whether they are against strangers or family or workplaces. Nothing I found just lists all shootings, so I had to piece it together.

What follows isn’t all the mass shootings in the United States post-World War II and might not even be most, but it is many of them:

• Seung-Hui Cho used a .22-caliber Walther P22 semi-automatic handgun and a 9 mm semi-automatic Glock 19 handgun to shoot and kill 32 people and wound 17 in two separate attacks at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Va., on April 16, 2007. He then killed himself, bringing the number of fatalities to 33. Six others were wounded escaping through windows, bringing injuries to 23.

• George “Jo Jo” Pierre Hennard used a Glock 17 pistol and a Ruger P89 pistol to shoot and kill 23 people after he drove his pickup into a Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, on Oct. 16, 1991. Another 20 people were injured.

• James Oliver Huberty used a 9 mm Uzi semi-automatic, a Winchester pump-action 12-gauge shotgun and a 9 mm Browning HP in a McDonald’s, killing 21 people and wounding 19, in San Ysidro, Calif., July 18, 1984. Police shot and killed Huberty, bringing the death count to 22.

• Eric Harris used a 12-gauge Savage-Springfield 67H pump-action shotgun and a Hi-Point 995 Carbine 9 mm carbine and Dylan Klebold used a 9 mm Intratec TEC-9 semi-automatic handgun and a 12-gauge Stevens 311D double-barreled sawed-off shotgun to kill 13 people before killing themselves at Columbine High School near Littleton, Colo., on April 20, 1999. They injured 21, with three others injured attempting to escape.

• Patrick Henry Sherill used two .45 caliber pistols to kill 14 fellow employees at a post office, before turning the gun on himself, in Edmund, Okla., Aug. 20, 1986. Six were wounded.

• James Eagan Holmes used a 12-gauge Remington Model 870 shotgun, a Smith & Wesson AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and a .40 S&W Glock handgun to kill 12 people and injure 58 in Theater 9 at the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colo., on July 20, 2012. Police arrested him outside the theater.

• Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan used an FN Five-seven semi-automatic pistol fitted with two Lasermax laser sights to shoot and kill 13 people and injure 29 others at Fort Hood, Texas, on Nov. 5, 2009. Base police shot Hasan and arrested him. He remains paralyzed from the chest down.

The other shootings:

• University of Texas Tower sniper, Austin, Texas, Aug. 1, 1966, 17 killed, 32 injured.

• Roger Gene Simmons’ murder spree, Christmas week 1987, Russellville, Ark., 16 killed, 4 injured. (He used more than just guns to commit murder.)

• Binghamton massacre, Binghamton, N.Y., April 3, 2009, 14 killed, 4 injured.

• Walk of Death, Camden, N.J., Sept. 6, 1949, 13 killed, 3 injured.

• George Banks’ shooting spree, Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Sept. 25, 1982, 13 killed, 1 injured.

• Geneva County massacre, Kinston, Ala., March 10, 2009, 11 killed, 6 injured.

• GMAC massacre, Jacksonville, Fla., June 18, 1990, 11 killed, 6 injured.

• Beltway sniper attacks, Washington, D.C., area, October 2002, 11 killed, 6 injured.

• Easter Sunday massacre, Hamilton, Ohio, March 30, 1975, 11 killed.

• Red Lake massacre, Red Lake Indian Reservation, Minn., March 21, 2005, 10 killed, 5 injured.

• Covina massacre, Covina, Calif., Dec. 24, 2008, 10 killed, 3 injured.

• California Street shootings, San Francisco, July 1, 1993, 9 killed, 6 injured.

• Westroads Mall shooting, Omaha, Neb., Dec. 5, 2007, 9 killed, 4 injured.

• Marcus Wesson’s child murders, Fresno, Calif., March 12, 2004, 9 killed.

• Ralph M. Gragg, Lenoir, N.C., May 2, 1951, 9 killed.

• Luigi’s Italian restaurant shooting, Fayetteville, N.C., Aug. 6, 1993, 8 killed, 4 injured.

• Harlem clothing store murders, New York, Dec. 8, 1995, 8 killed, 4 injured.

• Wedding shop shooting, Miami, Aug. 20, 1982, 8 killed, 3 injured.

• Nursing home shooting, Carthage, N.C., March 29, 2009, 8 killed, 3 injured.

• Copley Township shootings, Summit County, Ohio, Aug. 7, 2011, 8 killed, 1 injured.

• Appomattox shootings, Appomattox, Va., Jan. 19, 2010, 8 killed.

• Pierce Etheridge’s rampage, New York and Rochester, N.Y., March 1992, 8 killed.

• Living Church of God shooting, Brookfield, Wis., 7 killed, 4 injured.

• Oikos University killings, Oakland, Calif., April 2, 2012, 7 killed, 3 injured.

• Capitol Hill massacre, Seattle, March 25, 2006, 7 killed, 2 injured.

• Cleveland Elementary School shooting, Stockton, Calif., Jan. 17, 1989, 6 killed, 29 injured.

• Northern Illinois University massacre, DeKalb, Ill., Feb. 14, 2008, 6 killed, 21 injured.

• Long Island Railroad massacre, Garden City, N.Y., Dec. 7, 1993, 6 killed, 19 injured.

• Safeway shooting, Tucson, Ariz., Jan. 8, 2011, 6 killed, 13 injured (including Rep. Gabby Giffords).

• Amish school shooting, Lancaster County, Pa., Oct. 2, 2006, 6 killed, 5 injured.

• Kirkwood City Council shooting, Kirkwood, Mo., Feb. 7, 2008, 6 killed, 2 injured.

• Seattle Cafe shooting, Seattle, March 20, 2012, 6 killed, 1 injured.

• Trolley Square shootings, Salt Lake City, Feb. 12, 2007, 6 killed, 4 injured.

• Deer hunt shooting, Meteor, Wis., Nov. 21, 2004, 6 killed, 2 injured.

• University of Iowa shooting, Iowa City, Iowa, Nov. 1, 1991, 6 killed, 1 injured.

• Deputy shooting, Crandon, Wis., Oct. 7, 2007, 6 killed, 1 injured.

• Post office slayings, Goleta, Calif., Jan. 30, 2006, 6 killed.

• Fairchild Air Force Base shooting, Fairchild AFB, June 20, 1994, 5 killed, 23 injured.

• Westside Middle School killings, Jonesboro, Ark., March 24, 1998, 5 killed, 10 injured.

• IHOP shooting, Carson City, Nev., Sept. 6, 2011, 5 killed, 7 injured.

• Post office slayings, Royal Oak, Mich., Nov. 17, 1991, 5 killed.

• Pantera concert attack, Columbus, Ohio, Dec. 8, 2004, 4 killed, 7 injured.

 

Tribune Managing Editor Tim Engstrom’s column appears every Tuesday.

About Tim Engstrom

Tim Engstrom is the editor of the Albert Lea Tribune. He resides in Albert Lea with his wife, two sons and dog.

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