Timeline: Deadliest mass shootings in the US

This week, another shooting occurred on U.S. soil. Although no one was hurt in the shooting at the University of Florida on Monday, the incident sheds light on a larger issue. Just how many shootings need to occur before a solution is attempted?

It is said that hindsight is 20/20. Here is a look back at some of the deadliest mass shootings in the last three years.


Aurora, Colorado: In 2012, James Holmes entered a showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” and open fired at the crowd, killing 12 and injuring 70. Holmes is currently being charged on 166 counts, the majority of which are murder or attempted murder. Holmes plead not guilty by reason of insanity. Nonetheless, the jury found Homes guilty of all 24 counts of murder as well as 140 counts of attempted murder. CNN noted this as being one of the deadliest mass shootings to occur on American soil. The death penalty is on the table as a possible punishment for Holmes’ actions.

Oak Creek, Wisconsin: In 2012, Wade Michael Page shot six and wounded four at Sikh temple with a 9mm semiautomatic handgun. This is reportedly the same type of gun used in the Colorado shooting. After responding, the officer shot Page in the stomach. Then, Page shot himself in the head. It was later discovered that Page had ties to white supremacist groups.

 Minneapolis, Minnesota: In 2012, a former Accent Signage Systems employee walked into the firm and fired gunshots. Five people were killed, including the shooter, who shot himself. Three people were critically injured and one of those injured died the following day. On October 10, 2012, a second man who was critically injured in the shooting died.

Newton, Connecticut – In 2012, after Adam Lanza shot and killed his mother, he drove to Sandy Hook Elementary School and fatally shot six staff members and 20 children. This mass shooting of children rocked the country. After shooting students and faculty, Lanza shot himself in the head.

Santa Monica, California: In 2013, a gunman shot and killed four people before being fatally shot by police officers. The gunman was identified as John Zawahri. Before Zawahri was shot, he made his way to Santa Monica college where, after shooting a woman, ran to the library and fired.

Hialeah, Florida: In 2013, 42-year-old Pedro Vargas went on a shooting spree in his apartment building in Florida. After setting his apartment on fire, Vargas open fired. He held two victims hostage before he was fatally shot by a responding SWAT Team. During the several hour long shooting, six people were killed. The hostages were unharmed.

Washington, D.C: In 2013, Aaron Alexis shot twelve people at the Naval Sea Systems Command in the nation’s capital. Alexis, who acted alone, was working as a military subcontractor at the time. He used these credentials to enter the premises and then began to open fire.

Marysville, Washington: In 2014, 15-year-old Jaylen Fryberg shot five of his classmates in Marysville Pilchuck High School Cafeteria. Three of the victims were 14, the other, 15. Two of the victims were cousins of Fryberg. The four victims that were shot in the head died. The fifth, shot in the jaw, survived. Fryberg killed himself after shooting his classmates. Before Fryberg was shot, he reportedly sent out text messages to close family members and a friend describing what he wanted to be wearing at his funeral and who should get his possessions.

San Francisco, California: In 2015, four men were shot and killed in early January. The victims were found near a stolen black Honda. All four men died at the scene. The youngest victim was 19. The oldest victim was 22.

Charleston, South Carolina: In 2015, nine people were killed when a white man opened fire at Emanuel African Methodist Church, a historic black church, in South Carolina. One of the nine killed was the senior pastor. Dylan Roof was arrested the next day. Roof reportedly admitted to committing the crimes in hopes of starting a race war. This shooting has been ruled a hate crime after photos of Roof surfaced where he was pictured with the confederate flag and white supremacy images. Roof also published his beliefs on race. He is in custody and could be facing the death penalty. Roof’s ties to the confederate flag prompted South Carolina state officials to remove the flag from the state capitol grounds.

Chattanooga, Tennessee: In 2015, four U.S. marines were fatally shot when 24-year-old Mohammad Youssuf Abdulzeez opened fire on a recruiting station. Abdulzeez then moved to a nearby Navy facility where he shot one other. Three more were wounded before Abdulzeez was shot by the police. The motive of the shooter is still unknown. CNN.com reports that Abdulzeez suffered from depression and a past substance abuse problem.

Lafayette, Louisiana: In 2015, John Russel Houser entered a Grand 16 movie theater showing of Trainwreck in Louisiana, shooting in the crowd killing two and injuring nine. Houser sat in the theater for several minutes before shooting. He then shot himself. The New York Times reported that his family described Houser as mentally ill and noted that he had spent time in psychiatric care facilities.

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