History of School Shootings in the United States: Other Mass Shootings
So far, we’ve looked exclusively at mass shootings that involved houses of education. Let’s take a look at some other mass shootings that didn’t involve schools, and see how they fit in with the patterns that emerged from the articles focused on school shootings.
These are the mass shootings in United States history, not including school shootings, with the highest mortality and total victim counts, recounted from most recent to most historical.
On November 5, 2017
26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley parked at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, a few minutes after 11:00 a.m.
Kelley got out of his Ford SUV wearing a black tactical outfit, a ballistic vest, a black face-mask with a white skull on it, and a Ruger AR-556 semi-automatic rifle. As he approached the church, he opened fire, killing two people standing outside, and then entered the church, where worshipers were still attending Sunday service.
After walking into the church through a side door, Kelley yelled, "Everybody dies, motherfuckers." He stalked up and down the center aisle, shooting at people trapped in their pews.
He was soon confronted by Stephen Willeford, armed with his own AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. Willeford was at home with his family when his daughter came to tell him she heard gunshots at the First Baptist Church across the street from their house.
The former NRA instructor went to his safe for his rifle while his daughter told him that she saw a man in black tactical gear shooting up the church.
"I kept hearing the shots, one after another, very rapid shots - just 'pop pop pop pop' and I knew every one of those shots represented someone, that it was aimed at someone, that they weren't just random shots," Willeford said.