Shootings on college campuses over the last five years have more than doubled since a similar period a decade earlier.
According to a report by the Citizens Crime Commission, the incidents have also grown more deadly, with three times as many people injured or killed during the most recent five-year period.
To analyze shooting trends at U.S. colleges, the Crime Commission reviewed 190 incidents at 142 colleges from the 2001-2002 school year through the 2015-2016 school year in which at least one person was intentionally shot (excluding the shooter) on the campus of a two- or four-year college, as well as incidents that occurred within two miles of a college campus, and at least one student was shot. Unsurprisingly, the increase was most profound on colleges in states with increased access to guns, the report said.
Not only have the number of shooting incidents increased, but the number of casualties during those incidents has increased significantly as well since the fall of 2001. During the first five school years, the report examined (2001-02 to 2005-06), there were a total of 40 recorded shooting incidents on or
near college campuses. The number of shootings increased 23% to 49 incidents during the 2006-07 to 2010-11 school years. Shootings doubled during the next five school years (2011-12 to 2015-16), increasing to 101 incidents—a 153% increase compared to the 2001-02 to 2005-06 school years.
Between 2001-02 and 2005-06, there were 61 total casualties during college shooting incidents. During the 2006-07 to 2010-11 school years, casualties nearly tripled, increasing to 168 killed or wounded; 42% of these victims were shot during the mass shootings at Virginia Tech (49) and Northern Illinois University (21). Casualties continued to climb to 208 (24%) during the last five school years—a 241% increase compared to the 2001-02 to 2005-06 school years.
Twelve states experienced more than five shooting incidents on or near college campus—accounting for 64% of the 190 shooting incidents. The highest number of incidents occurred on or near campuses in Tennessee (14), California (14), Virginia (13), Georgia (13), North Carolina (11), and Florida (11).
In the 190 shooting incidents between the 2001-02 and 2015-16 school years, 437 people were shot, including 167 killed and 270 wounded. The victims included 290 students, 77 individuals not associated with the college, 40 employees, and five former students (we were unable to determine the relationship of 25 victims). An estimated 2.5 million students were enrolled at the 142 colleges where shootings occurred, and, thus, were directly or indirectly exposed to gun violence.
Among the 145 incidents in which the shooter’s relationship to the college was publicly identified, 59% of the shooters were not associated with the college, 28% were students, 9% were former students, and 4% were employees.
Of the 149 incidents in which the circumstances leading up to the shooting were identified, 38% involved a dispute, 21% involved robbery, 12% involved drugs, 11% involved targeted students and/or employees, 7% involved domestic violence, 5% involved rampages with mass casualties, 4% involved shooters who were denied entry to or kicked out of a party, and 2% involved other circumstances.
The full report is at http://www.nycrimecommission.org/