Horrific shootings in schools and in public spaces such as movie theaters, grocery stores and shopping malls dominate the news, and most Americans believe this seemingly indiscriminate violence poses the greatest threat when it comes to mass carnage.
An analysis of data by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University, however, shows that these types of crimes, while terrifying, actually represent a small fraction of the mass killings in America.
The project includes all types of intentional killings — from stabbings to shootings to strangulation to blunt force trauma — where four or more people, excluding the assailant, died in a 24-hour period.
It includes every mass murder since 2006, but unlike the Gun Violence Archive it does not include non-fatal shootings. The database also does not include homicides caused by driving under the influence or accidental fires due to lack of intent.
Every mass killing included in the database was independently corroborated by multiple sources, including FBI crime data, news stories, court records, interviews and other materials.