Top 10 deadliest mass shootings in modern US history

The world received news Saturday of a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. Less than a day later, another mass shooting happened in a popular Dayton, Ohio, neighborhood.

As the world grieves and tries to fathom how something like this has become so commonplace, those who died — 22 in the El Paso shooting as of Monday and nine in the Dayton shooting — join hundreds of others who also died in mass shootings.

The shooting in El Paso has now become one of the top 10 deadliest shootings in modern U.S. history.


The deadliest mass shooting took place on Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas, Nevada, when Stephen Paddock, 64, opened fire on a crowd of 22,000 concertgoers from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. He killed 58 people before killing himself.

In the second deadliest shooting, Omar Saddiqui Mateen, 29, walked into Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, where he killed 49 and injured more than 50 on June 12, 2016. He was killed by police during an operation to free hostages.

On April 16, 2007, Seung-Hui Cho, a 23-year-old student, went on a shooting spree in two locations at Virginia Tech, killing 32 people and injuring multiple others on campus before killing himself in the third deadliest shooting.

Adam Lanza, 20, shot and killed 20 children, six adults, school faculty and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, before killing himself on Dec. 14, 2012. Officials later found his mother dead from a gunshot wound. It is the fourth deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history.

In the fifth deadliest shooting, Devin Patrick Kelley, walked into a small Sutherland Springs, Texas, church on Nov. 5, 2017, shot and killed 25 people and an unborn child, and wounded 20 others. He was found dead from a gunshot wound to the head after a brief chase.

After crashing his truck into a Luby's Cafeteria, George Hennard, 35, got out of his vehicle and shot and killed 23 people before killing himself on Oct. 16, 1991, in the sixth deadliest shooting.

Authorities identified Patrick Crusius, 21, as the suspect in a shooting at an El Paso Walmart on Aug. 3, 2019, that left 22 people dead and as many as two dozen others injured. It is the seventh deadliest shooting. Police reported finding an anti-immigrant document with white nationalist and racist views that they believe was written by Crusius. He could face hate crime charges in addition to capital murder charges.

In the eighth deadliest shooting, James Huberty, 41, armed with a long-barreled Uzi, a pump-action shotgun and handgun, shot and killed 21 adults and children at a McDonald's in San Ysidro, California, on July 18, 1984. A sharpshooter killed Huberty one hour after the rampage began.

Charles Joseph Whitman, a former U.S. Marine, shot and killed 16 people and wounded at least 30 others from a University of Texas Tower on Aug. 1, 1966, in the ninth deadliest shooting. Whitman was shot and killed by two police officers while he was still in the tower. Officials discovered Whitman had also killed his mother and wife earlier in the day.

In the tenth deadliest shooting, officials say Nikolas Cruz, 19, used an AR-15 to shoot and kill 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, 2018. Deputies said 12 people were found dead inside the school, two just outside the building and one on nearby Pine Island Road. Two others died at a hospital. A student at the high school said Cruz, who had been expelled from school, had gotten into trouble after bringing weapons on campus. Cruz left the school after the shooting by blending in with other students who were trying to escape. He was later seen walking into the Broward Sheriff's Office headquarters wearing a hospital gown. 

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About the Author:

Dawn Jorgenson, Graham Media Group Branded Content Managing Editor, began working with the group in April 2013. She graduated from Texas State University with a degree in electronic media.