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Virginia shooting: Attack is latest of 568 US mass shootings in two years

802 people killed since 1 June 2017, with tighter legislation set to become issue in presidential election

Andy Gregory
Saturday 01 June 2019 15:23 BST
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There has been 568 deadliest mass shootings in past two years
There has been 568 deadliest mass shootings in past two years (Alex Wong/Getty)

The massacre of 12 people in Virginia by a “disgruntled” worker is the 568th known American mass shooting in the past two years.

At least 802 people have died in shootings involving four or more people in this period, data collected by the Gun Violence Archive shows.

The city’s mayor described the Virginia Beach atrocity as the most devastating day in the history of the city.

Despite widespread protests, calls for tighter gun laws and major controversies within the National Rifle Association, politicians face an uphill battle to introduce new rules.

However, the issue of gun legislation looks set to become a major one for candidates in the 2020 election, with presidential hopeful John Hickenlooper already endorsing tighter laws.

Here The Independent looks at some of the the deadliest mass shootings in the United States over the past two years.

— 15 Feb 2019: Gary Martin killed five co-workers at a manufacturing plant in Aurora, Illinois, during a disciplinary meeting where he was fired. He wounded one other employee and five of the first police officers to arrive at the suburban Chicago plant before he was killed in a shootout with police.

— 7 Nov 2018: Ian David Long killed 12 people at a country music bar in Thousand Oaks, California, before taking his own life. Long was a Marine combat veteran of the war in Afghanistan.

— 27 Oct 2018: Robert Bowers is accused of opening fire at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, during Shabbat morning services, killing 11 people and injuring several others. It’s the deadliest attack on Jews in US history.

— 28 June 2018: Jarrod Ramos shot through the windows of the Capital Gazette offices in Annapolis, Maryland, before turning the weapon on employees there, killing five at the Capital newspaper. Authorities say Ramos had sent threatening letters to the newspaper prior to the attack.

— 18 May 2018: Dimitrios Pagourtzis began shooting during an art class at Santa Fe High School in Texas. The 17-year-old killed eight students and two teachers and 13 others were wounded. Explosive were found at the school and off campus.

— 14 Feb 2018: Nikolas Cruz shot and killed 17 students and staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. It surpassed Columbine High School as the deadliest shooting at a high school in US history.

— 5 Nov 2017: Devin Patrick Kelley, who had been discharged from the US Air Force after a conviction for domestic violence, used an AR-style firearm to shoot up a congregation at a small church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing more than two dozen people.

— 1 Oct 2017: Stephen Paddock opened fire on an outdoor music festival on the Las Vegas Strip from the 32nd floor of a hotel-casino, killing 58 people and wounding more than 500. SWAT teams with explosives then stormed his room and found he had killed himself.

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