Six people were killed and at least four wounded Tuesday in a mass killing at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, the 40th incident this year and part of a trend that makes 2022 second-highest in the number of such incidents since 2006.
A total of 45 mass killings were reported in 2019, according to ongoing analysis by USA TODAY, Northeastern University and the Associated Press.
Chesapeake is also the third mass shooting since Nov. 20, which includes the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs, Colorado. A total of 15 people were killed in those three shootings.
“The recent spike in mass killings, and mass shootings, in particular, is unprecedented,” says James Alan Fox, a professor of criminology, law and public policy at Northeastern University in Boston. He oversees and maintains the database.
The database shows 27 people were killed in November by gunfire in six mass shootings, defined as four or more deaths, excluding the perpetrator. A total of 35 people died in November in eight mass killings, which include deaths by guns and other means.
October has had the most per-month deaths so far this year, with 42 in nine killings.
“Although these events are in a relative sense rare, representing fewer than 1% of all homicides in the U.S., they do signal the need for action in terms of gun safety legislation, but not panic,” Fox says.
Incidents and deaths per month in 2022
Some of the most shocking killings in recent U.S. history have taken place in 2022, including 19 children and two teachers who were shot to death at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24.
The Uvalde shooting occurred 10 days after a gunman with an assault rifle killed 10 people at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo.
Interactive database: See trends, details and anguish of every US event since 2006 in the USA TODAY/AP/Northeastern University mass killing database.
SOURCE USA TODAY Network reporting and research; Associated Press