An Examination of School Characteristics, Shooter Characteristics, and Incidental Characteristics of School Mass Shootings
School Mass Shootings (SMS) continue to be an ongoing issue for k-12 schools, technical/vocational schools and on college campuses in the US. Recent studies have shown that these crimes are increasing in both frequency and lethality. However, these crimes are still considered to be statistically rare events making them difficult to study quantitatively. Many extant studies use an exclusive definition of SMS where an incident must have four or more deaths to be categorized as this type of crime. The present study utilizes an inclusive definition in order to have a larger dataset for analyses. A dataset of 60 SMS cases occurring between 1927-2019 was developed. The data were collected from open sources such as news sources, online journals, etc. Research questions relate to characteristics of the schools where the shootings occurred, characteristics of the shooters themselves including mental health status, and incidental characteristics. Findings and policy implications are discussed.
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