Data: 1 year after Oxford, mass shootings persist in Michigan, across nation

Examining mass shootings in year following Oxford High School shooting

A well wisher kneels to pray at a memorial on the sign of Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich., Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. A 15-year-old sophomore opened fire at the school, killing several students and wounding multiple other people, including a teacher. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

In the year since the traumatic Oxford High School shooting in Southeast Michigan, gun violence has continued to be a problem in the state and nationwide. Mass shootings are particularly on the rise.

Mass shootings are defined by the Gun Violence Archive (GVA) as shootings in which four people are shot or killed, excluding the shooter. For years, the organization has been tracking the number of reported and confirmed shootings across the nation, including but not limited to mass shootings.

On average, 111 people are shot and killed every day in the U.S. -- that’s more than 40,000 people each year. The number of people killed annually in mass shootings specifically is lower, but the number of mass shootings taking place has increased significantly in recent years.

And while gun violence comes in many forms, the brutal mass shootings and mass killings are often covered in the news and online nationwide, making mass shootings the most public representation of gun violence in the U.S.

Mass shootings by month, year

So far in 2022, there have been 617 mass shootings in the U.S. -- and there’s still one month to go -- according to data from GVA. That number is inching closer to the total in 2021, which saw 690 total mass shootings. Of those in 2021, 28 were mass murders.

This year, we’ve averaged about 56 mass shootings per month, with one month reaching as high as 89. The graph below shows the number of mass shootings that occurred each month in 2022 so far.

If we see around 40 mass shootings in the month of December, as was recorded in Dec. 2021, the total number of mass shootings in 2022 will not exceed last year’s record. The year 2021 saw the highest number of mass shootings in the U.S. in nearly a decade.

The 690 mass shootings reported by GVA in 2021 is more than double the 336 mass shootings reported in 2018. In 2014, 273 mass shootings were reported.

Again, 617 mass shootings have been reported in the U.S. so far in 2022, a record on par with the last two years.

Mass shootings since Oxford shooting

On Nov. 30, 2021, four students were murdered and seven other people were injured when a student opened fire at Oxford High School during school hours. Law enforcement officials maintain that if not for a quick response from first responders, it is believed the shooter would have wounded or killed several others, as he was carrying a significant amount of ammunition.

The latest: ‘Who works for who?’: Ex-Oxford school board members speak on prevention policies, 3rd party review

Since the tragic shooting in Oxford, Michigan exactly one year ago, there have been 29 mass shootings in Michigan alone (up until Nov. 28, 2022). A total of 111 people have been either injured or killed.

Most of those shootings have occurred in southern lower Michigan, on both the east and west sides of the state. No mass shootings were reported in the Upper Peninsula during this time frame.

The map below shows the locations of the mass shootings and their damage in terms of individuals injured or killed. You can view the data as an interactive table by clicking the “Data Table” tab in the graphic.

Across the U.S., there have been 632 mass shootings since the Oxford shooting on Nov. 30, 2021. Since the beginning of Dec. 2021, a total of 2,730 people have been injured or killed in a mass shooting in the country.

The map below shows the locations of the mass shootings and their damage in terms of individuals injured or killed. You can view the data as an interactive table by clicking the “Data Table” tab in the graphic.

Active shooter situations can occur anywhere, but some of the most common locations are at schools and businesses. According to data from the FBI, between 2000-2019, there have been 44 active shooter situations at Pre-K-12 schools, and 18 at higher education facilities.

When it comes to mass shootings at schools, the Associated Press reports that 169 people have died in a total of 14 mass school shootings in the U.S., starting with the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School. The AP defines mass shootings differently, recognizing them as when four or more people are killed in one incident, excluding the shooter.

See more data on mass shootings in the U.S. on the GVA’s website here.

Firearm fatalities have been steadily increasing across the U.S. since about 2013-2014, according to Dr. Patrick Carter, co-director of the Firearm Injury Prevention Center at the University of Michigan. In fact, when it comes to injury-related deaths, firearm deaths have surpassed deaths from motor vehicle crashes, Carter said.

Gun violence is preventable, whether it’s a mass shooting, inter-personal violence or suicide. There are a number of factors contributing to the rise in gun violence across America, but experts say there are just as many solutions available to address the problem.

Read more on that: Mass gun murder in America: What’s behind it, ways to end it


Related: How easy is it to buy guns in other countries compared to US?


About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.