40 active shooter incidents occurred in 2020, FBI report says

The FBI has designated 40 shootings in 2020 as active shooter incidents and said that 38 people were killed in the incidents, including one officer, and that 126 people were hurt. The numbers excluded the shooter.

The shootings spanned across 19 states, with California seeing the highest total at six.

FBI officials released their findings in a recent report his month in an effort to help law enforcement officers, other first responders, corporations, educators and the public understand the incidents to come up with prevention and response methods.

The bureau defines an active shooter incident "as one or more individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area." 

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The shooting with the highest number of casualties, one killed and 16 wounded, occurred at 9ine Ultra Lounge in Kansas City, Missouri. On Jan. 19, 2020, a man opened fire on a line of people waiting to get inside 9ine, killing a 25-year-old woman and wounding 15 other people before security guards working at the club shot and killed the gunman.

The 40 active shooter incidents were carried out by 42 shooters: 35 of which were male shooters, three were female and four were unspecified. 

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The youngest suspected shooter was a 15-year-old male who opened fire on November 20, 2020, inside the Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Eight people were hurt. Officers arrested the suspect at another location the following day.

The oldest suspected shooter was an 87-year-old male who opened fire inside the Portstewart Senior Apartments in Caldwell, Idaho on February 20, 2020. One person was killed and three people were hurt. The gunman died by suicide at the scene.

According to the report, 24 suspects were captured by law enforcement, four were killed by law enforcement officers, two were killed by an armed citizen, seven died by suicide and five suspects remain at large.

Twenty-four of the shootings happened in "commerce-related environments." Ten happened in open spaces. Three happened in residents and three others happened on government property. None of the 40 incidents happened in educational environments, health care facilities or houses of worship.

The report also showed active shooter incidents in 2020 increased by 33% compared to 2019, when only 30 occurred, and 100% compared to 2016, when only 20 occurred. However, casualties dropped from 258 in 2019 to 164 in 2020, a 36.4% decrease. Officials attribute to drop in casualties to the possible fact that fewer people were out in public due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FBI has provided ways for people to respond to an active shooter incident with the motto, "Run. Hide. Fight." Officials encourage people to leave the scene of an active shooter as quickly as they can. If an escape is improbable, they encourage people to find a place to hide from the shooter. Officials said a person should fight an active shooter as the last resort, using available objects as improvised weapons. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.