The Anomaly of a Female Mass Shooter: San Bernardino Wife Joins Small Group of Shooters
Tashfeen Malik, the wife of Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, joins a very short list of women who have carried out mass shootings.
The husband and wife duo were behind the Inland Regional Center shooting in San Bernardino this week and were killed in a shootout with police hours after their rampage.
According to Mother Jones, less than three percent of mass shootings over the last three decades have been carried out by female shooters.
"There's very few women who commit mass killings," Jodo Upton, who runs a data journalism team at USA Today told NBC News in July. "But of those who do, there's a slight tendency to prefer drownings or strangulation or arson."
According to Mother Jones, since 1982, out of 73 incidents, just two public mass shootings involved a female killer prior to what happened in San Bernardino this week.
Among other female mass shooters, Brenda Ann Spencer is a convicted murderer who went on a shooting spree in January 1979 when she was 16. She used a semiautomatic rifle when she shot up a San Diego school, killing two adults and eight children.
Sylvia Seegrist dressed in Army gear to kill three people and injure seven others at a mall in Pennsylvania in 1985, when she was 25. The following year, she was found guilty but mentally ill by a Pennsylvania court and is serving three life terms plus 10-to-20 year concurrent sentences for the seven she wounded.
Laurie Dann was a babysitter with a reported history of mental illness when she went on a rampage in 1988. She sent arsenic-laced snacks to fraternity houses at Northwestern University before setting fire to a home. She then went to an elementary school and shot six children – killing one and injuring six. She was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a nearby home.
Jennifer San Marco shot and killed her neighbor in Goleta, California then drove to her former place of employment and killed six postal workers before taking her own life. The Post Service said San Marco worked for six years as an employee but was given early retirement because of psychological problems.
University of Alabama-Huntsville biology professor Amy Bishop attended a faculty meeting where she shot and killed three colleagues and wounded three others in 2010. She was arrested, later pleaded guilty to the crime and was sentenced to life in prison.