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FBI: Active shooter incidents up 52% in 2021, 103 killed

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Federal Bureau of Investigation released an annual report Monday on active shooter incidents in the United States for 2021. Two days later, a mass shooting occurred at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. It was the second multi-victim shooting of its kind in 10 days, following a separate mass shooting at a Buffalo, N.Y. grocery store.

From 2020 to 2021, active shooter incidents increased 52.5%, according to the FBI.

The report by the FBI focused on data covering active shooter incidents over the past four years, from 2017 to 2021. The federal law enforcement agency found the number of casualties and number of shootings had gone up over those four years.

“In 2021, the FBI designated 61 shootings as active shooter incidents,” the agency reported Monday. “In these incidents, 103 people were killed and 140 wounded, excluding the shooters.”

The FBI said all 61 shootings were “carried out” by individual shooters. The report said “60 shooters acted alone.”

Of the 61 shooters, only one was female. The age range of the shooters was wide, with the youngest just 12-years-old, and the oldest 67.

Active shooter incidents in 2021 were 96.8% more than the number in 2017. The FBI said the four-year data “reveals an upward trend” since 2017.

The data in the FBI’s report is only valid through March 25, 2022. According to the agency report, of the 61 incidents in 2021, citizens engaged the shooters on four occasions, “thereby resulting in the incident ending.” Two of those incidents involved armed citizens killing the shooter.

Compared to the year before, the FBI said casualty counts in 2021 were 48% higher, with 164 killed or injured in 2020 and 243 in 2021. They said it was the “third highest total casualty count over the last five years.” In 2021, 103 were killed. The number of fatalities was 171% higher than in 2020.

According to the FBI report, only 12 of the 61 shootings qualified as active shooter incidents in 2021 “met the criteria” for the federal definition of mass killings. “The number of mass-killing incidents in 2021 are above the five-year average (10.25), and a 140% increase over 2020,” the FBI said.

While the number of active shooter incident killings increased by more than 100%, the number of those injured in active shooter incidents rose only 11.1% from 2020 to 2021. However, the FBI said a new trend was “emerging” when it came to shooters. The agency said the number of active shooters “roving” was starting to trend. The FBI reported that “specifically, shooters who shoot in multiple locations, either in one day or in various locations over several days,” were becoming more common.

A shooting in Lakeland was one example of a shooter going to multiple locations. On Sept. 5, 2021, a 33-year-old man shot five people at two separate locations. Four died before he was apprehended by law enforcement officers.

Non-profit organization Gun Violence Archive, founded in 2013 in the District of Columbia, retains records of shootings for each year and by state. In 2021, GVA identified 31 active shooting incidents occurred in the state of Florida, including seven in the Tampa Bay area.

Shootings in Tampa Bay in 2021:

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