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What is a mass shooting? Definition differs among experts

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Tribune Review, April 2022

In recent years, it seems Western Pennsylvania has seen more than its fair share of mass shootings.

• LA Fitness in 2009.

• Western Psych in 2012.

• Wilkinsburg in 2016.

• Tree of Life in 2018.

• Airbnb in 2022.

But, depending on the definition used, some of those incidents don’t qualify as a mass shooting. Many groups—including the Associated Press/USA Today/Northeastern University Mass Killing Database—characterize a mass shooting as one in which at least four people are killed, excluding the attacker. Others like the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Gun Violence Archive define a mass shooting as an incident in which at least four people are wounded—regardless of the death toll. Following the more restrictive definition, LA Fitness, Western Psych and the Easter Airbnb attack on Pittsburgh’s North Side weren’t mass shootings.

Continue reading at Tribune Review.

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