WASHINGTON D.C. - In 2021, the FBI designated 61 shootings as active shooter incidents, a new report shows. In these incidents, 103 people were killed and 140 wounded, excluding the shooters.
According to the Active Shooter Incidents in the United States in 2021 report, the number of active shooter incidents in 2021 represents a 52.5% increase from 2020 (40), and a 96.8% increase from the year 2017 (31).
Active shooter incidents in 2021 resulted in 243 victims, a 48% increase from 2020 (164). According to the FBI, the number of victims in 2021 represents the third highest total victim count over the last five years (2017–2021).
The year 2021 also saw the highest number of casualties since 2017. The 103 casualties reported in 2021 represents a 171.1% increase from 2020. There was also an 11.1% increase in people wounded (140) in 2021 compared with 2020 (126).
For 2021, the FBI observed an emerging trend involving roving active shooters; specifically, shooters who shoot in multiple locations, either in one day or in various locations over several days.
The 61 incidents in 2021 were carried out by 61 shooters (60 male, 1 female). The age range of the shooters was 12 years old to 67 years old. According to the FBI, two shooters wore body armor; thirty shooters were apprehended by law enforcement; 14 shooters were killed by law enforcement; four shooters were killed by armed citizens; one shooter was killed in a vehicle accident during a law enforcement pursuit; 11 shooters committed suicide; and one shooter remains at large.
The FBI defines an active shooter as one or more individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area. Implicit in this definition is the shooter’s use of a firearm.
This report is part of a series of FBI active shooter-related products published since September 2014. The FBI also supports the 'Don’t Name Them' campaign encouraging media, law enforcement, and public information officers to shift their focus from the perpetrators of active shooter incidents toward the victims, survivors, and heroes who stopped them, as well as the communities that come together to help in the healing process.
Persons suspected of planning an active shooting should be immediately reported to law enforcement. For additional resources on the active shooter threat, please visit Active Shooter Resources.