These Are the Deadliest Mass Shootings in America's History
Officials declare the Las Vegas massacre the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history, but it is only one of many in a horrific American trend.
Update: Following the deadly attack on a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Nov. 5, this list has now been updated. The most recent list of deadly shootings can be found here.
At least 58 were killed and 515 were injured in the shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada on Sunday in what officials have declared the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history.
The gunman, identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, fired down on a crowd of 22,000 from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.
Paddock, a retired accountant who lived in Mesquitem, Nevada, used an automatic rifle to fire from about 400 yards away.
Cops found Paddock dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, surrounded by as many as 10 firearms, the Las Vegas Police Department said Monday.
This incident is the latest in a series of recent mass shootings in the nation.
49 Killed in the Orlando Nightclub Shooting on April 12, 2016
Gunman Omar Mateen, 29, open fired into a crowd of partiers at Pulse, a local gay nightclub, at around 2 a.m. during the venue's weekly Saturday "Latin Night."
Dozens were initially killed in the attack, and several others were held hostage for hours in a women's bathroom before police intervened and shot Mateen dead.
During this time, many frightened club goers sent text messages to their friends and family, keeping them updated about the situation.
Mina Justice shared with reporters her son, 30-year-old Eddie, texted her that night, "Mommy I love you" and "He has us, and he's in here with us" before they lost contact.
Justice found out days later her son perished in the attack.
32 Killed in the Virginia Tech Shooting on April 16, 2007
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University student Seung-Hui Cho fatally shot 32 people —including 27 fellow students and five faculty members — and injured 17 others in two separate attacks on the Blacksburg campus before turning the gun on himself.
After the shooting, NBC News received writings, photographs and video that Cho sent the station, in which the 23-year-old gunman complained about being bullied and ranted about “brats.”
The American Psychiatric Association urged the media to stop airing his so-called manifesto, saying in a statement: “The publicity of the Cho materials not only seems insensitive to the grieving and traumatized families, friends and peers of those murdered and injured, but also seriously jeopardizes the public’s safety by potentially inciting 'copycat' suicides, homicides and other incidents.”
27 Killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting on December 14, 2012
Gunman Adam Lanza killed 20 first-graders, all ages 6 and 7, as well as six adult staff members and himself at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
Before opening fire at the school, Lanza shot and killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, at their Newtown home. The 20-year-old’s motive for targeted the school was never established.
Lanza suffered from extreme mental health issues that were left untreated and he was preoccupied with violence, a report from the Office of the Child Advocate found.
"[Lanza], who over the years engaged in recreational shooting activities with both of his parents, retained access to numerous firearms and high capacity ammunition magazines even as his mental health deteriorated in late adolescence," the report said.
23 Killed in Shooting at Texas Restaurant on October 16, 1991
After 35-year-old George Hennard drove his pickup truck into Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, he sprayed bullets on the packed eatery before fatally shooting himself.
As he began shooting, Hennard — who was described by others as an angry and withdrawn man who disliked women and minorities — reportedly yelled: "All women of Killeen and Belton are vipers! This is what you’ve done to me and my family! ... This is payback day!"
Twenty-three people were killed and 27 others were wounded in what was, until Sunday, the U.S.’s deadliest shooting to occur outside a school.
21 Killed in McDonald’s Massacre on July 18, 1984
Former security guard James Huberty, 41, shot and killed 21 people and wounded 19 others before he was fatally shot by a police sniper in San Ysidro, California.
Huberty brought a cache of weapons and ammunition to the McDonald’s restaurant on San Ysidro Boulevard, where 45 customers were dining. Inside, he shot two employees and ordered everyone on the ground before opening fire on a customer who tried to convince him to stop. He went on to kill additional employees and customers — including a pregnant woman, children, an infant and the elderly — before he was killed.
18 Killed in University of Texas at Austin Shooting on August 1, 1966
(Public Domain; Getty)
Former U.S. Marine Charles Joseph Whitman opened fire from the top of a tower at UT Austin, where he killed 16 and wounded 32. He began to encounter return fire from police and armed civilians before he was fatally shot by an officer who managed to climb to the top of the tower undetected.
Police determined the 25-year-old had stabbed his wife and mother to death before making his way to the university. His mother had also been shot in the back of the head.
14 Killed at a San Bernardino Office Party on December 2, 2015
Married couple Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, left their 6-month-old daughter with family members before firing on the Department of Public Health's holiday luncheon at the Inland Regional Center, where Farook was an employee. The attack – which including an attempted bombing – left 14 dead and 22 injured.
Farook, who was U.S.-born with Pakistani descent, and Malik, a Pakistani-born permanent resident of the U.S., were declared "homegrown violent extremists" by the FBI, but were not directed by terrorist organizations.
Their family learned what they did when Farook and Malik did not return to collect their daughter. A year following the event, Farook's sister Saira Khan, filed to adopt the little girl.
14 Killed at the Edmond Post Office Shooting on August 20, 1986
(The Daily Oklahoman)
Post office worker Patrick Sherill, 45, open fire in a small facility containing about 100 staff around 7 a.m. He was reprimanded by supervisors the day before. The attack left 14 dead and six others injured before Sherill turned the gun on himself.
The term "going postal" was inspired by the massacre.
13 Killed at Columbine High School Massacre on April 20, 1999
Seniors Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students and one teacher in a highly planned attack. Their plot included the use of fire bombs, bombs created out of propane tanks, car bombs and other explosive devices. Dozens were injured attempting to escape.
Harris and Klebold, who claimed bullying drove them to the shooting, turned the guns on themselves, ending the violence with suicide.
13 Killed in 'Walk of Death' Shooting on September 6, 1949
(Camden Evening Courier)
In what is known as modern America's first so-called mass shooting, World War II veteran Howard Barton Unruh shot and killed 13 people at random as he took a 12-minute walk around his neighborhood.
A local reporter later phoned Unruh's home and asked how many people he had killed.
He reportedly responded: “I don’t know, I haven’t counted. Looks like a pretty good score.”
Unruh, who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, admitted to the killings but never stood trial.
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