Columbine to Newtown: A tragic list of school shootings since 1999
The senseless massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, which took the lives of twenty children, including Olivia Engel, seen here, plus seven adults, instantly stirs terrible memories of the 1999 attack on Columbine High School. On the tenth anniversary of that tragedy, we assembled a horrific roster of school shootings in the decade since Columbine, based on data from the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence. In updating that list below, we discovered that there have been 73 more school shootings since our 2009 post -- at least.
We add this last caveat because the Brady Campaign document, entitled "Major School Shootings in the United States Since 1997," was assembled this past February -- and given the rate of shootings seen in the document, it's likely a dozen more incidents or more have taken place in the nearly ten months since the most recent entry.
A photo of Columbine High School from April 20, 1999.
As you'll note, these events don't all involve mass casualties. Indeed, some of them don't even result in an injury. But the majority involve injuries or deaths -- often multiple ones -- and it's extraordinarily disturbing to realize that most of them didn't make national news. The average item was likely treated as a local news item in the towns where they took place -- an indication of how inured we've become to the idea of shootings at our nation's schools.
We think the total number of incidents listed here is 179, but we could have lost count. That's how many of them there've been since the Columbine attack. Read about them below.
MAJOR SCHOOL SHOOTINGS SINCE 1999
Chardon, Ohio, February 27, 2012
A seventeen-year old boy fired ten shots at a group of students in the Chardon High School cafeteria as school began Monday, then shot an additional student elsewhere in the cafeteria, then proceeded down a hallway, where he shot one more student. He then fled and was arrested nearby, authorities said. Three boys were killed. Another male victim remains hospitalized, while a female victim has been released to her family, officials said.
Port Orchard, Washington, February 23, 2012
A nine-year-old boy boy accidently shot a fellow third-grader. Authorities say the boy brought a .45-caliber handgun he got from his mother's house to an elementary school in Bremerton on Wednesday, and the weapon discharged from inside his backpack just before classes let out, critically injuring an eight-year-old girl.
Murfreesboro, Tennessee, February 21, 2012
A fourteen-year-old boy was shot twice in the leg on the grounds of Carson Lane Academy. The shooting occurred just after 5 o'clock on a Monday afternoon during an altercation between two groups of kids.
Brownsville, Texas, January 4, 2012
Wikipedia Brownsville, Texas.
A male eighth grade Cummings Middle School student brandished a weapon today at approximately eight a.m. in the school's main hallway. School administrators immediately contacted the Brownsville Police Department and BISD Police and Security Services. The school initiated standard lock down procedures. Law Enforcement Officers responded to the scene immediately. The student engaged the officers and was shot. He was transported to a local hospital by ambulance. No other students or employees were injured.
Berkeley, CA, November 15, 2011
At 2:17 p.m., the UCPD got a 911 call about a man who reportedly had a gun in a backpack at the Haas School of Business. At 2:19 p.m., three officers arrived at the school and found the suspect in a computer lab on the third floor. The suspect pulled a gun out of his backpack, the police chief said, and displayed it "in a threatening manner." The chancellor said there were four students in the vicinity of the suspect and the officers, and that "it appeared students' lives might be at risk." After the officers told the man "numerous times" to drop his weapon, one of the three officers fired at the suspect, Celaya said. No one else was injured in the incident.
Fayetteville, NC, October 25, 2011
Two teenagers were in custody in the shooting of a 15-year-old fellow student who was wounded in the neck during a lunch period outside her North Carolina high school, and a sheriff said Monday the pair will be charged. Abercrombie was in stable condition after surgery at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, according to Butler, who said she was standing in a breezeway outside the school cafeteria when she was shot.
Baltimore, MD, October 14, 2011
A man was shot several times in the back in the parking garage on the University of Maryland at Baltimore. The shooting happened at 6 p.m., and the gunman fled. The man shot was taken to the nearest hospital in critical condition. The school enacted its "shelter in place" emergency protocol, and by 7:30 people were allowed to move about the buildings freely and cars were allowed to leave the parking lot.
Harper Woods, Michigan, August 26, 2011
A fifteen-year-old girl was wounded when shots were fired at the conclusion of a football game at Chandler Park Academy in Harper Woods. When police arrived, witnesses said at least two people had been shot, but none of the victims remained at the scene. Detroit police contacted Harper Woods authorities to report a fifteen-year-old girl, who was shot in the stomach in the academy's parking lot after the game, was taken or walked to a nearby house in Detroit. An ambulance was called and transported the teenager to Children's Hospital in Detroit.
Mandeville, Louisiana, August 8, 2011
Wikipedia Mandeville, Louisiana.
Three fifteen-year-old New Orleans-area boys were arrested for allegedly plotting to shoot at least one student at Lakeshore High School and to kill law enforcement officials who responded to the scene. Authorities said the boys named their group "Day Zero." They had reportedly planned to acquire several guns and bring them to the school. Police collected information from computers in the boys' homes after other students told a school administrator about the alleged plot.
Pearl City, HI, May 23, 2011
A student was injured when a .45 caliber Glock semi-automatic pistol accidentally went off inside a middle school. The gun was unintentionally fired by another student who had brought the gun in to school to show off to friends. The bullet was shot through one student's jacket and ricocheted off a wall before inflicting nonlethal injuries on the victim.
Cleveland, OH, May 23, 2011
A robbery attempt turned violent when a sixteen-year-old Benedictine High School student, Sophomore Jackrell Russell, was shot in the chest by a robber. The teenager was approached by the suspect who demanded the boy's cell phone and school-issued laptop. Jackrell was able to flag down a passing RTA bus where a passenger called 9-1-1. He was taken to a hospital and stabilized.
Houston, TX, April 19, 2011
Officials say three students were injured after a 6-year-old brought a loaded gun to his Houston elementary school that accidentally discharged when it fell out of the child's pocket. None of the injuries appeared life-threatening.
Los Angeles, CA, April 15, 2011
A teenager was in custody today for allegedly shooting a fifteen-year-old boy who was shot as he walked to Los Angeles High School. A teenage suspect was later arrested and taken to a juvenile lockup. Investigators say the shooter and the victim, both boys, knew one another. The wounded boy suffered a bullet wound to the buttocks. A motive for the shooting was not disclosed.
Apopka, Florida, April 13, 2011
One person suffered a non-life-threatening injury after a shooting outside Sheeler Charter High in Apopka. The victim and two others, including one student, were taken into custody. The victim was shot in the abdomen. Investigators believe the suspects, who do not attend the school, came to the school to confront a student.
Nashville, TN, April 12, 2011
A seventeen-year-old girl was shot and injured when shots were fired into her school bus. Two brothers, eighteen and nineteen years old, were charged in the shooting outside Pearl Cohn High School. Police say the suspects' intended target was standing outside the bus at the time of the shooting.
Opelika, AL, April 6, 2011
A 63-year-old woman was killed and three other people were wounded by a gunman who opened fire outside the Higginbotham Academic Center at Union State Community College. Investigators arrested a 34-year-old man who admitted to the shooting which is believed to be domestic related. A 36-year-old woman who was a student at the college was hurt along with a 94-year-old woman and a four-year-old child who was injured by shattered glass. The shooting took place while students were changing classes.
Houston, Texas, March 31, 2011
One person was killed and five others were injured during a shooting -- believed to be gang-related -- just before 7 p.m. at Worthing High School during a powder puff football game. Eyewitnesses said a car, which police believe carried gang members, drove onto the athletic field and started shooting. Six people were shot, one of whom was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. The identity of the victim has not been released. The suspects fled the scene but police managed to track down a gold Ford Taurus with blood stains on its doors about five miles from the Texan high school. At least one person was taken into custody.
Martinsville, Indiana, March 25, 2011
A shooting suspect was apprehended and police searched for a gun hours after a shooting at a middle school in which a student was injured. The shooting took place at Martinsville West Middle School. The victim was shot twice in the stomach. The shooting involved a student who was recently either expelled or suspended from school, authorities said.
Los Angeles, California, February 23, 2011
A student was arrested for shooting and killing his instructor at the Coast Career Institute vocational school. The shooting took place inside a school classroom right in front of the class. The 22-year-old gunman was training to become a security guard. He fired at least 10-rounds from a semiautomatic handgun at point-blank range then went outside and waited until police arrived.
Murfreesboro, Tennessee, February 14, 2011
A fight led to a shooting at Middle Tennessee State University. The shooting suspect, a twenty-year-old MTSU junior, was arrested. The twenty-year-old victim, a former MTSU student, was shot in the hand when the bullet ricocheted off the ground and hit his thumb. The campus was put on alert for nearly 45-minutes until the gunman was apprehended.
Continue to read about more school shootings between Columbine and Newtown, Connecticut.