Deadliest U.S. mass shootings

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  Introduction
  Public place
  School
  Work place
  Workplace
  Worship place
(AP, MCT)

A look back at some of the most notable mass shootings in recent U.S. history: from San Ysidro, Calif., in 1984, to recent rampages at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. and Sikh temple in Wisconsin.

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Introduction

21 killed, 19 wounded: San Ysidro, Calif.

James Oliver Huberty, a 41-year-old out-of-work security guard, kills 21 employees and customers at a McDonald’s restaurant. Huberty is fatally shot by a police sniper perched on the roof of a nearby post office.

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Public place

14 killed, 6 wounded: Edmond, Okla.

Patrick H. Sherrill, 44, a mail carrier, walks into his post office and opens fire, killing 14 coworkers and wounding six others before killing himself with a bullet to the head. Sherrill, who faced possible dismissal, had been given a poor performance report by his supervisor the previous day.

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Workplace

5 killed, 29 injured; Stockton, Calif.

Patrick Edward Purdy turns a powerful assault rifle on a crowded school playground, killing five children and wounding 29 more. Purdy, who also killed himself, had been a student at the school from kindergarten through third grade.

Police officials described Purdy as a troubled drifter in his mid-20s with a history of relatively minor brushes with the law. The midday attack lasted only minutes.

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School

10 killed, 4 wounded: Jacksonville, Fla.

James E. Pough, a 42-year-old day laborer apparently distraught over the repossession of his car, walks into the offices of General Motors Acceptance Corp. and opens fire, killing seven employees and one customer before fatally shooting himself. Police later said they had confirmed that Pough was responsible for gunning down a man and woman on a Jacksonsville street 33 hours earlier.

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Public place

22 killed, 20 wounded: Killeen, Texas

Police officers gather outside Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas
Police officers gather outside Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas (Rick McFarland / Associated Press)

George Jo Hennard, 35, crashes his pickup truck in­to a Luby’s cafet­er­ia crowded with lunch­time pat­rons and be­gins firing indiscriminately with a semi­auto­mat­ic pistol, killing 22 people. Hennard is later found dead of a gun­shot wound in a res­taur­ant restroom.

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Public place

4 killed, 2 injured: Iowa City, Iowa

A University of Iowa campus security officer checks the hallway outside the sealed Office of Academic Affairs in Jessup Hall.
A University of Iowa campus security officer checks the hallway outside the sealed Office of Academic Affairs in Jessup Hall. (The Gazette / Associated Press)

Gang Lu, a gradu­ate stu­dent in phys­ics from China, shoots four people to death at the Uni­versity of Iowa. Lu, who took his own life in the in­cid­ent, was up­set about not get­ting an aca­dem­ic hon­or. The dead included fac­ulty mem­bers and the stu­dent who had won the hon­or. Two oth­ers were crit­ic­ally wounded.

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School

4 killed, 10 wounded: Olivehurst, Calif.

Eric Houston, a 20-year-old unemployed computer assembler, invades Lindhurst High School and opens fire, killing his former teacher Robert Brens and three students and wounding 10 others. He holds 85 students hostage for 8 1/2 hours before giving himself up.

Houston was convicted in July 1993 on four counts of murder. He is currently on death row at San Quentin State Prison.

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School

8 killed, 6 injured: San Francisco

(AP Photo/Marin Independent Journal)

Gian Luigi Ferri, 55, kills eight people in an office building in San Francisco’s financial district. His rampage begins in the 34th-floor offices of Pettit & Martin, an international law firm, and ends in a stairwell between the 29th and 30th floors where he encounters police and shoots himself.

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Workplace

6 killed, 19 injured: Garden City, N.Y.

(Sharon M. Beard / Associated Press)

Colin Ferguson shoots and kills six passengers and wounds 19 others on a Long Island Rail Road commuter train before being stopped by other riders. Ferguson is later sentenced to life in prison.

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Public place

5 killed, 10 injured: Jonesboro, Ark.

(Associated Press)

Middle school students Mitchell Johnson and Andrew Golden pull a fire alarm at their school in a small rural Arkansas community and then open fire on students and teachers using an arsenal they had stashed in the nearby woods. Four students and a teacher who tried shield the children are killed and 10 others are injured. Because of their ages, Mitchell. 13, and Andrew, 11, are sentenced to confinement in a juvenile facility until they turn 21.

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School

13 killed, 24 injured: Columbine, Colo.

(Associated Press)

Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, students at Columbine High, open fire at the school, killing a dozen students and a teacher and causing injury to two dozen others before taking their own lives.

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School

9 killed, 12 injured: Atlanta

Mark O. Barton
Mark O. Barton (Associated Press)

Mark Orrin Barton, a 44-year-old chemist-turned-day trader, strolls into two investment offices and opens fire on fellow investors and office workers. The shootings at All-Tech Investment and Momentum Securities Inc., across the street from each other, leave nine people dead and 12 wounded. Barton eludes a manhunt for six hours before killing himself.

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Workplace

7 killed, 7 injured: Fort Worth

(Associated Press)

Larry Gene Ashbrook opens fire inside the crowded chapel of the Wedgwood Baptist Church. Worshipers, thinking at first that it must be a prank, keep singing. But when they realize what is happening, they dive to the floor and scrunch under pews, terrified and silent as the gunfire continues. Seven people are killed before Ashbrook takes his own life.

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Worship place

7 killed: Honolulu

(George F. Lee / AFP Photo)

Byran Uyesugi, a Xerox copier repairman, shoots and kills seven coworkers with a Glock 9-mm semiautomatic handgun as they gather for a meeting to discuss his light workload. Uyesugi is a former high school sharpshooter who legally owns 11 handguns, five rifles and two shotguns. He is later found guilty of seven counts of murder and one of attempted murder for shooting at a man who escaped. He is serving a life sentence without possibility of parole.

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Workplace

7 killed: Wakefield, Mass.

Michael McDermott in Middlesex Superior Court in Cambridge, Mass.
Michael McDermott in Middlesex Superior Court in Cambridge, Mass. (John Blanding / Associated Press Photo)

Michael McDermott, a 42-year-old software tester shoots and kills seven co-workers at the Internet consulting firm where he is employed. McDermott, who is arrested at the offices of Edgewater Technology Inc., apparently was enraged because his salary was about to be garnished to satisfy tax claims by the Internal Revenue Service. He uses three weapons in his attack.

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Workplace

2 killed, 13 injured: Santee, Calif.

Charles Andrew Williams in court during his arraignment in San Diego County Superior Court in March 2001
Charles Andrew Williams in court during his arraignment in San Diego County Superior Court in March 2001 (Associated Press)

Santana High student Charles Andrew Williams, 15, fatally shoots two classmates and wounds 13 others on the campus. He is apprehended by police in the school bathroom, where his attack began. Williams is later sentenced to 50 years to life.

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School

3 killed: Tucson

Robert S. Flores, 41, a Persian Gulf War veteran and student at the University of Arizona’s College of Nursing, enters a lecture hall and gun downs two of his nursing professors. Flores then orders the students out of the classroom and commits suicide. Another associate professor of nursing is later discovered shot to death in her second-floor office.

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School

5 killed, 9 injured: Meridian, Miss.

Doug Williams in an undated photo
Doug Williams in an undated photo (Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office)

Doug Williams, 48, a production assemblyman for 19 years at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., goes on a rampage at the defense plant, fatally shooting five and wounding nine before taking his own life with a shotgun.

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Workplace

9 killed, 7 injured: Red Lake Indian Reservation, Minn.

Jeffrey Weise, a 16-year-old student at Red Lake High School fatally shoots five students, a teacher, and a security guard and wounds seven others before taking his own life. Before his rampage at Red Lake, Weise kills his grandfather and his grandfather’s companion at their home on the Red Lake Indian Reservation.

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School

5 killed, 5 injured: Nickel Mines, Pa.

(Associated Press)

Charles Carl Roberts IV, a milk truck driver armed with a small arsenal, bursts into a one-room schoolhouse and kills five Amish girls. He kills himself as police storm the building.

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School

5 killed, 4 injured: Salt Lake City

Sulejman Talovic, 18, wearing a trenchcoat and carrying a shotgun, sprays a popular Salt Lake City shopping mall. Witnesses say he displays no emotion while killing five people and wounding four others. An off-duty police officer eating dinner with his wife exchanges gunfire with the Bosnian refugee before other officers arrive and fatally wound Talovic.

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Public place

32 killed, 17 injured: Blacksburg, Va.

Image taken from a video aired by NBC News shows Virginia Tech gunman Seung-hui Cho
Image taken from a video aired by NBC News shows Virginia Tech gunman Seung-hui Cho (Associated Press Photo/NBC)

Seung-hui Cho, a 23-year-old Virginia Tech senior, opens fire on campus, killing 32 people in a dorm and an academic building in attacks more than two hours apart. Cho takes his life after the second incident.

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School

8 killed, 4 injured: Omaha

(EPA / Yearbook photo)

Robert Hawkins, 19, sprays an Omaha shopping mall with gunfire as holiday shoppers scatter in terror. He kills eight people and wounds four others before taking his own life. Authorities report he left several suicide notes.

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Public place

5 killed, 16 injured: Dekalb, Ill.

(Associated Press)

Steven Kazmierczak, dressed all in black, steps on stage in a lecture hall at Northern Illinois University and opens fire on a geology class. Five students are killed and 16 wounded before Kazmierczak kills himself on the lecture hall stage.

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School

13 killed, 4 injured: Binghamton, N.Y.

(AP Photo/Binghamton Police Department)

Jiverly Voong, 41, shoots and kills 13 people and seriously wounds four others before apparently committing suicide at the American Civic Assn., an immigration services center, in Binghamton, N.Y.

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Public place

13 killed, 32 injured: Ft. Hood, Texas

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan in a 2007 photo
Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan in a 2007 photo (Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences)

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, allegedly shoots and kills 13 people and injures 32 others in a rampage at Ft. Hood, where he is based. Authorities allege that Hasan was exchanging emails with Muslim extremists including American-born radical Anwar Awlaki.

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Workplace

3 killed, 3 wounded: Huntsville, Ala.

(Eric Schultz / Associated Press)

Amy Bishop 45, a neurobiologist and assistant professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, shoots and kills 3 people at a biology faculty meeting. Bishop is later sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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Work place

8 killed, 2 injured: Manchester, Conn.

Omar S. Thornton, 34, a driver for Hartford Distributors, emerges from a disciplinary hearing and begins shooting, killing eight people at the family-owned distributorship and then himself.

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Workplace

6 killed, 11 injured: Tucson, Ariz.

Jared Lee Loughner in an undated MySpace photo
Jared Lee Loughner in an undated MySpace photo (AP Photo)

Jared Lee Loughner, 22, allegedly shoots Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in the head during a meet-and-greet with constituents at a Tucson supermarket. Six people are killed and 11 others wounded. Loughner is identified by witnesses as the gunman who fired at close range with semiautomatic pistol before being tackled.

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Public place

8 killed, 1 injured: Seal Beach, Calif.

Booking photo of Scott Dekraai
Booking photo of Scott Dekraai (Seal Beach Police Dept.)

Scott Dekraai, 41, apparently enraged over a custody dispute, allegedly walks into a crowded Seal Beach hair salon where his former wife works and opens fire. Eight people are killed, including a man sitting in a truck outside the salon. Another person is critically wounded. Dekraai has pleaded not guilty in the case.

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Workplace

7 killed, 3 injured: Oakland

One L. Goh
One L. Goh (Alameda County Sheriff's Office)

One L. Goh, 43, a former student at a Oikos University, a small Christian college, allegedly opens fire in the middle of a classroom leaving seven people dead and three wounded.

Goh was charged with seven counts of murder with special circumstances and three counts of attempted murder. In a jailhouse interview with a San Francisco TV station shortly after the shooting, Goh said he was “deeply sorry” for his actions.

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School

12 killed, 58 injured: Aurora, Colo.

James Holmes
James Holmes (University of Colorado Denver/Zuma Press/MCT)

James Holmes, 24, is taken into custody in the parking lot outside the Century 16 movie theater after a post-midnight attack in Aurora, Colo. Holmes allegedly entered the theater through an exit door about half an hour into the local premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises.” He faces charges of of killing 12 people and injuring 58 others.

Victims: Who they were

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Public place

6 killed, 3 injured: Oak Creek, Wis.

Wade Michael Page
Wade Michael Page (Handout/ Getty Images)

Wade Michael Page fatally shoots six people at a Sikh temple before he is shot by a police officer. Page, an Army veteran who was a “psychological operations specialist,” committed suicide after he was wounded.

Page was a member of a white supremacist band called End Apathy and his views led federal officials to treat the shooting as an act of domestic terrorism. He had been administratively discharged from the Army in 1998 after being demoted in rank.

Victims: Who they were

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Worship place

6 killed, 2 injured: Minneapolis, Minn.

Engeldinger working at Accent Signage in Minneapolis
Engeldinger working at Accent Signage in Minneapolis (Bill Klotz / Associated Press)

Andrew Engeldinger, 36, breaks into a sign company’s offices and opens fire, killing the owner and five others before turning the gun on himself. Engeldinger had been fired from Accent Signage Systems, a small company that specializes in making interior signs that comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act, including signs in Braille for the blind.

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Workplace

3 dead, 4 injured: Brookfield, Wis.

Rescue personnel arrive at the Azana Salon and Spa
Rescue personnel arrive at the Azana Salon and Spa (Michael Sears / Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

Radcliffe Haughton, a 45-year-old former Marine, walks into the Azana Salon and Spa where his estranged wife works and shoots and kills her and two other women, wounding four others. Witnesses say Haughton’s wife, Zina, calmly tried to protect coworkers and customers before she was killed. She had recently sought a restraining order saying her husband had threatened to throw acid in her face and set her on fire with gasoline. Haughton was found dead inside the salon of a self-inflicted gunshot.

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Public place

27 killed, one injured: Newtown, Conn.

Responders gather at scene of a mass school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Responders gather at scene of a mass school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. (Mario Tama / Getty Images)

A gunman forces his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. and shoots and kills 20 first graders and six adults. The shooter, Adam Lanza, 20, kills himself at the scene. Lanza also killed his mother at the home they shared, prior to his shooting rampage. In emotional remarks from the White House, President Obama wiped away tears. “Our hearts are broken today,” the president said.
Photos | Full coverage

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School

5 killed: Santa Monica

(AP Photo / Santa Monica Police Department)

John Zawahri, an unemployed 23-year-old, kills five people in an attack that starts at his father’s home and ends at Santa Monica College, where he is fatally shot by police in the school’s library.

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Public place

13 killed, 3 injured: Washington, D.C.

Police work the scene on M Street, SE in Washington near the Washington Navy Yard.
Police work the scene on M Street, SE in Washington near the Washington Navy Yard. (Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press)

A shooter who engaged police in a running firefight through the sprawling Washington Navy Yard is shot and killed.

At least 13 people including the shooter are killed in the rampage that began approximately 8:15 a.m. at the Navy Yard, a huge complex of buildings along Washington’s Anacostia River waterfront. The shooter is later identified as Aaron Alexis, a Navy contractor and former Navy enlisted man from Fort Worth.

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Workplace

3 killed; 16 injured: Ft. Hood, Texas

Media wait outside Fort Hood for an official statement Wednesday.
Media wait outside Fort Hood for an official statement Wednesday. (Deborah Cannon/Austin American-Statesman/MCT)

A gunman at Fort Hood, the scene of a deadly 2009 rampage, kills three people and injures 16 others, according to military officials. The gunman is dead at the scene.

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Workplace

7 dead, 7 wounded: Isla Vista, Calif.

A car window is shot out after a series of shootings near the UC Santa Barbara campus.
A car window is shot out after a series of shootings near the UC Santa Barbara campus. (Associated Press / KEYT-TV)

A gunman opens fire in the UC Santa Barbara campus town of Isla Vista from inside a black BMW. The gunman was killed during the shooting rampage. Law enforcement sources identified Elliot Rodger as the preliminary suspect. Investigators believe the gunman acted alone and are analyzing a threatening video and written evidence that suggests the killings were premeditated.

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Public place

9 dead: Charleston, S.C.

An undated handout photo provided by the Berkeley County, South Carolina, shows 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof of Columbia, S.C.
An undated handout photo provided by the Berkeley County, South Carolina, shows 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof of Columbia, S.C. (EPA)

Dylann Storm Roof is identified as the suspect in the shooting that killed nine people at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C., on Wednesday night.

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Worship place

Sources: Times research (Originally published July 20, 2012)

Credits: Maloy Moore, Megan Garvey, Evan Wagstaff, TimelineSetter