The United States has reached a somber milestone with the highest number of recorded mass shootings in any year since 2006. The recent incidents in Texas and Washington state marked the 37th and 38th such events of the year, surpassing the previous record of 36 set last year.
In one of the weekend’s tragic incidents, authorities in Vancouver, Washington, suspect a murder-suicide in the deaths of five family members. Simultaneously, in Dallas, Texas, a 21-year-old with a history of aggravated assault was responsible for shooting five people, including a toddler, in a domestic setting.
The definition of a mass shooting varies among different organizations. The Associated Press database, which defines a mass killing as an incident where four or more people are killed, excluding the perpetrator, reported that Sunday’s incidents in New York City were the country’s 41st mass killing of 2023. In this attack, a 38-year-old man stabbed four of his relatives, including two children, another woman, and two police officers before being shot by the police.
So far, at least 203 people have died in mass killings this year, according to this definition. Notably, most mass shootings do not occur in public spaces; at least 26 of this year’s incidents took place in private residences or shelters.
The Gun Violence Archive, which includes incidents where multiple people are shot regardless of fatalities, reports a higher figure of 630 mass shootings for the year.
Mass shooting incidents declined to 21 in 2020 during the Covid pandemic but have since surged to new heights. The Fourth of July weekend alone witnessed 16 shootings, resulting in 15 deaths and nearly 100 injuries.
The most lethal attack of 2023 occurred in Lewiston, Maine, on October 25, when an army reservist killed 18 people in a bowling alley and a bar. This surpassed the January attack in Monterey Park, California, where 11 people were fatally shot during a Lunar New Year celebration.