FBI report counts record 61 'active shooter' incidents in 2021

The 2021 figure is a 52% increase from 2020.

Updated: May 24, 2022 - 1:03pm

The FBI recorded 61 "active shooter" incidents last year, the highest tally in more than two decades, the agency announced Monday.

The 2021 total, which included incidents occurring in more than 30 states, was 52% higher than the previous year's total and close to a 100% increase from each of the three previous years.

Last year ranked as the seventh-deadliest in terms of active shooting incidents since 2000, the first year for which FBI data is available.

The bureau defines an active shooter as someone engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a public area in an apparently random fashion. Numbers, therefore, do not include gang- or drug-related shootings, or even all mass shootings. About half of such incidents last year occurred at commercial businesses.

Active shooter incidents last year resulted in 103 dead and 140 wounded — numbers that grew significantly from the previous year's 38 dead and 126 wounded.

Though there were a record number of incidents in 2021, the record high for deaths and injuries was in 2017, due primarily to the shooting at a Las Vegas music festival that killed 56 people and wounded hundreds more.

That event alone drove the 2017 death toll to 143 and the injury figure to 591. 

California last year accounted for more active shooting incidents than any other state, despite having extremely restrictive gun laws. Texas and Georgia each had five active shooter incidents.

The single deadliest shooting of 2021 was the mass shooting at the Kings Soopers Grocery Store in Boulder, Colo., which left 10 dead, followed by the shooting at the Indianapolis FedEx facility in which eight were killed.