JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – New statistics released by the FBI point to an alarming rise in active shooter incidents -- including a rapidly increasing pattern of public school shootings.
The FBI’s Active Shooter Incidents in the United States in 2021 report, which was released Monday, reveals a chilling trend: an increase in roving shooters. These are shooters who move from place to place in search of more people to kill. That was the case in Tuesday’s shooting in Texas, where authorities say the gunman shot his grandmother before going to an elementary school and killing 19 children and two teachers.
According to the FBI, active shooter incidents rose 52.5% in 2021 compared to the year before. Last year, 103 people were killed and 140 were wounded. Tragically, the casualty count in 2021 increased by 48% from 2020.
Toni Chrabot, a former FBI agent and current CEO of Risk Confidence Group, says what’s most concerning about the FBI’s latest statistics is the fact that the agency recently changed the definition of an “active shooter incident,” removing other forms of violent crimes that were counted before.
“And what’s interesting about that is that it excludes firearms incidents, firearm shootings, it excludes gang-related violence, drug violence, that type of thing,” Chrabot said. “So when you think about that, you are looking at a very focused type of incident, much like we just saw yesterday.”
FBI data reveals that out of the 61 active shooters, 60 of them were men ranging in age from 12 to 67 years old. According to the report, the busiest month for active shooter incidents is July, and the most common day is Saturday.
Thirty of the shooters last year were arrested, 18 were killed by law enforcement or armed citizens, 11 shooters committed suicide, and one remains at large, the report shows.
The data also reveals the increase in roving shooters, these are gunmen who move around from place to place in search of more people to kill. Chrabot says a lone gunman is the hardest for law enforcement to stop.
“They are planning something on their own, they don’t discuss it with anyone, maybe they put things out on social media -- that is the most difficult to defend against,” Chrabot said. “And I think it is a concern for people, you know, for organizations that host events in large venues in, and certainly it is a problem for schools, it’s a problem for the grocery store or the drugstore.”
According to the FBI, “areas of commerce” were the most targeted locations, which include grocery stores, malls and anywhere people gather and spend money.
The states of California, Georgia, Texas and Colorado reportedly had the highest numbers of active shooter incidents.