The media, tv shows, and movies promote a narrative that mass shooters are usually White people. We created a list of the 64 worst mass killings of 2021, which shows that reality is far different. Mass shootings account for the overwhelming majority of mass killings in the USA. Only one incident made the list that used a different weapon, a vehicle.
Also: The media’s narrative of White mass shooters targeting racial minorities is false. Of the 64 mass killings, there are five where the perpetrator exclusively killed members of different races. Two of these incidents appear to have been motivated by racial hatred. Zero had a White perpetrator. Four had Black perpetrators, and one had an Arab perpetrator.
The most commonly used definition of a mass shooting is four or more victims. We defined the “worst” incidents as those having the most fatalities. For killers with the same number of deaths, we defined the “worst” as the one with the most additional wounded people.
Our list of the worst 63 mass killings is all incidents with four or more total victims, including three or more fatalities.
A large majority of all mass killings in the United States are committed by Black perpetrators, even though they only make up about 14% of the US population. It is probably true that Black mass shooters, on average, cause fewer fatalities than other races. While Blacks become mass shooters at a dramatically higher rate than any other race, a very high percentage appears to occur at the spur of the moment. It is not uncommon to see Black suspects who wound large numbers of people, but few if any are killed. Many are drive-by shootings or shootings at a concert, bar, or house party that took place without a lot of premeditation or planning.
Looking at mass shootings over the past ten years, Whites, Asians, and Middle Eastern shooters seem to cause a higher average number of fatalities than Black mass shooters (and probably Latino shooters as well). One likely explanation is that while these shootings are much rarer, the shooter spent far more time thinking about it and planning the attack.
However, in 2021, Black perpetrators committed 50% of the worst ten mass killings, four of which were mass shootings. White perpetrators committed 30% of the worst ten.
Out of the 64 worst mass killings, the suspects are:
2 Mixed Race people
1 Central Asian
2 Suspects are unknown
Despite only making up about 14% of the US population, Blacks suspects accounted for 43.3% of the worst 30. This goes up to 57.8% when you include the worst 64. By contrast, Whites accounted for 30% for the top 30, but this drops all the way to 15.6% for the top 64. Latinos were more evenly distributed. They accounted for 13.3% of the top 30 and 15.6% of the top 64.
If we expanded the list to include incidents with four or more victims, but fewer than three fatalities, it is very likely that the Black percentage would continue to grow even significantly higher and the White percentage would get even lower. There were a large number of mass shootings, with Black suspects, that have over a dozen total victims but few if any fatalities.
While Whites are still a significant majority of the US population, Whites suspects accounted for 30% of the top
Here are the six highest victim counts of any mass shootings, regardless of the number of fatalities. This does not count Darrel Edward Brooks, a Black male who killed 6 and wounded 62 using his vehicle as the murder weapon. This only includes shooters.
23 total victims: Hialeah, Florida, May 30th: 3 killed, 20 injured outside a rap concert. Black male charged. accomplices wanted.
16 total victims: Saint Paul, Minnesota, October 10th: 1 killed, 15 injured outside a bar. Three Black males charged.
16 total victims: Collierville, Tennessee, September 23rd: 1 killed, 15 injured at a Kroger grocery store. Suspect is a Southeast Asian who shot co-workers then committed suicide.
15 total victims: Austin, Texas, June 12th: 1 killed, 14 injured. A Black male shot and injured another Black male on a crowded street, while killing a White male bystander and wounding thirteen other bystanders.
15 total victims: North Charleston, South Carolina, May 22nd: Multiple Black males opened fire at each other at an outdoor rap concert. A 14 year old Black female was killed and fourteen other bystanders were wounded by gunfire. Four Black males were charged. None of the gunmen were injured.
15 total victims: Chicago, Illinois, March 14th: Two people were killed and thirteen injured by gunfire at a party. Police say the shooting occurred in the backroom of an auto shop that had been converted to an unlicensed bar. The suspects are two Black males.
Five of these six mass shootings had Black perpetrators. Notice that all of these shootings had a low number of fatalities compared to total victims. Also noticed that of the five carried out by Black perpetrators, two were at rap concerts, two were at bars, and one was on a crowded street full of pedestrians. These seem to be very typical scenarios for high victim count mass shootings by Black suspects.
If we carried out this list to include all incidents with 14 total victims, 13 total victims, etc., the same trends would appear. In Chicago, there are mass shootings with four or more total victims on a near-weekly basis. However, a large percentage have zero fatalities.