The shooting in Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in which 17 students were killed and more than a dozen injured, appeared to be one of the deadliest cases of mass shooting since 1966 in the country. The attack was reportedly carried out by a 19-year-old boy, a former student who was expelled on disciplinary grounds.
While the attack in the school is the first this year in Florida, however, it is the 18th case in less than two months in the United States, as per data released by Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun control advocacy organization. It is also the ninth deadliest case in terms of the worst mass shootings in the history of United States.
Incidents of gun attacks have been recurring at an alarming rate in the United States. Here is a timeline of the ghastly mass shootings that rocked the country since 1966:
1. Las Vegas, Harvest Music Festival, October 2017
At least 59 people were killed at a country music festival in Las Vegas in October last year, when 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire from a room in the Mandalay Bay hotel on nearly 22,000 people. While the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack and said the shooter had converted to Islam a few months ago, the Federal Bureau of Investigation denied any connection of the attacker with any international terror organisation.
2. Orlando nightclub, June 2016
A gunman, who was later identified as Omar S Mateen, killed 50 people and injured more than 53 others in a gay nightclub in the tourist hub of Orlando, Florida, in June, 2016. A hostage situation developed and it took the security forces more than three hours to make their way into the club and shoot the accused. When asked if the FBI suspected the gunman might have had inclinations toward militant Islam, including a possible sympathy for Islamic State, Ronald Hopper, an assistant FBI agent in charge, told Reuters: “We do have suggestions that the individual may have leanings toward that particular ideology. But we can’t say definitively.”
3. Virginia Tech, April 2007
More than 30 people were killed on the campus of Virginia Tech in two cases of mass shooting on the same day in April 2007. The gunman was a student of the institute itself who lived in the dormitory on the campus. Following the incident, the university cancelled classes and set up counseling for the grief-stricken campus.
4. Connecticut, December 2012
Twenty-six persons, mostly children, were killed within minutes after a heavily-armed man opened fire at Connecticut elementary school in December 15, 2012. The massacre was carried out by 20-year-old Adam Lanza, who later killed himself. Police said Lanza had killed his mother Nancy Lanza at their home in Newtown a day before the shooting.
5. Texas, November 2017
A shooting at a Baptist church in the US state of Texas on November 6, 2017 claimed at least 26 lives and left over 20 others injured. The suspect, who was later identified as Devin Kelly, was found dead in his own vehicle and several weapons were found at the spot. Media reports suggested that Kelly was a former Air Force member who was stationed in New Mexico at one point in time. He was court-martialed in 2012 for assaulting his spouse and child and was discharged two years later, according to a report in the Associated Press.
6. Texas, October 1991
Twenty people were killed and more than twenty were injured after a 35-year-old man rammed a truck into a Texas cafeteria and opened fire at the crowd. The suspect, who was later identified as George Jo Hennard of Belton, later shot himself in the midst of a gun battle with security forces. “He was firing at anyone he could shoot,” Sam Wink, a Killeen resident, told a television channel. Police Chief Francis L. Giacomozzi said he knew of no motive for the shootings.
7. California, July 1984
Twenty people were massacred and more than 20 wounded after James Huberty drove to a McDonalds at San Ysidro and opened fire at the crowd, from his 12-gauge shotgun. After more than 90 minutes, a 60-member police team surrounded the building and killed James Huberty with a sniper shot. Thirty years later, Huberty’s daughter, Zelia, told mediapersons that she would have killed her father if she knew what he planned to do.
8. Texas, August 1966
The first mass shooting of the modern era was witnessed in Texas on August 1, 1966, when a 25-year-old ex-marine opened fire from the 28th-floor observation deck of a clock tower on campus. Eleven persons were killed and more than 25 were injured in the firing. It took the police more than 90 minutes to enter the tower and kill the gunman, whom they later identified as Stephen Paddock.
9. Florida, February 2018
A 19-year-old man on Wednesday opened fire with an assault-style rifle at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, killing 17 people and injuring more than a dozen others. Nikolas Cruz was arrested soon after the incident, following which police learnt that he was a former student of the high school who was expelled for unspecified disciplinary reasons. Police said Cruz aspired to join the military.
10. Oklahoma, August 1986
Disturbed over the possibility of losing his job due to poor performance, 44-year-old Pat Sherrill walked into a post office in Edmond, Oklahoma and shot and killed 14 people before committing suicide on August 20, 1986. As per reports, Sherrill had worked for the postal service for 18 months before he committed the massacre.