History of School Shootings in the United States: 2014
On January 9, 2014
in Jackson, Tennessee a 16-year-old student was charged with bringing a gun to Liberty Technology Magnet High School and shooting a classmate in the thigh. The incident occurred out front of the high school.
On January 13, 2014
in New Haven, Connecticut a 14-year-old boy was shot a few blocks from the Hillhouse High School athletic facility, after a basketball game, and suffered injuries to his hand and leg.
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On January 14, 2014
in Roswell, New Mexico two people were wounded in the gym at Berrendo Middle School at about 8:00 a.m. An 11-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl were airlifted to Lubbock, Texas in critical condition and the suspected shooter, 12-year-old Mason Campbell, seventh grade student, was talked into surrendering by a staff member and dropped the shotgun, and was subsequently arrested at the scene. A staff member received minor injuries.
Campbell was charged with three counts aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. He was sentenced to the maximum; confinement in a juvenile facility until he is twenty one years old.
On January 17, 2014
in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania a student shot two other students in the gymnasium at Delaware Valley Charter School. Both victims were shot in the arm. The victims, one male and one female, were taken to a nearby hospital in stable condition. Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said at a news conference that the shooter ran from the school after the shooting but 17-year-old Raisheem Rochwell was arrested and charged as an adult for aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person and firearms offenses. Rochwell was taken into custody near his home, and sentenced to two years of juvenile detention.
On January 21, 2014
in West Lafayette, Indiana a 21-year-old student, Andrew Boldt, was killed in a classroom building on the campus of Purdue University. 24-year-old student Cody Cousins was found guilty of the murder and was sentenced to sixty-five years of prison. In October 2014, Cousins committed suicide in his cell.
On January 24, 2014
in Orangeburg, South Carolina a 20-year-old student was killed at South Carolina State University. A 19-year-old was arrested and charged with murder.
January 25, 2014
in Los Angeles, California a man was killed at Los Angeles Valley College. Two suspects were arrested in the shooting.
On January 27, 2014
in Carbondale, Illinois a group of students at Rebound High School got in an argument in the school's parking lot. One student pulled out a gun and shot another student in the ensuing altercation. An 18-year-old suspect is facing charges of attempted murder.
On January 28, 2014
in Nashville, Tennessee a student was shot in the leg in an apparent argument over a gambling debt at Tennessee State University.
On January 30, 2014
in Palm Bay, Florida at Eastern Florida State College three students were fighting in a parking lot and one pulled out a gun and shot another student. All three students claimed self-defense.
On January 31, 2014
in Des Moines, Iowa at a basketball game at North High School, there was gunfire in the parking lot of the school. A 15-year-old girl was injured by a ricocheting bullet.
On February 10, 2014
in Salisbury, North Carolina a 16-year-old student was shot in the stomach on the campus of Salisbury High School during an argument in the school gym. A 17-year-old was charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, inflicting serious injury, possession of a firearm on school property and discharging a weapon on school property.
On February 10, 2014
in Lyndhurst, Ohio shots were fired in the parking lot of Charles F. Brush High School, including one which hit an unoccupied police car. No one was injured, though a school basketball game was going on at the time.
On February 12, 2014
in Los Angeles, California a male victim was shot in the back in a possible gang-related drive-by shooting near the University of Southern California. The suspect fled into the University Campus. The victim was last reported in stable condition before being transported to a local hospital.
On February 22, 2014
in Augusta, Georgia a shooting involving a campus police officer occurred at a Georgia Regents University dormitory complex. A male suspect entered a vehicle and nearly struck an officer, who opened fire. The suspect was taken to Georgia Regents Medical Center with injuries that were not believed to be critical.
On March 25, 2014
in College Park, Georgia an argument between students led to shots being fired in a Benjamin Banneker High School parking lot during the afternoon. No one was injured in the shooting.
On April 11, 2014
in Detroit, Michigan after a Friday evening student awards ceremony four men who were affiliated with a gang fired into a crowd in the parking lot of East English Village Preparatory Academy. One 19-year-old, Darryl Smith, was fatally shot in the head. Smith was not a student at the academy.
On May 4, 2014
in Augusta, Georgia two men fired shots inside a dormitory at Paine College on Sunday, injuring one student in the head. Neither of the suspects were students at the college.
On May 5, 2014
in Augusta, Georgia an active shooter situation was reported at Paine College on Monday with one person reported to be shot. The suspect was apparently apprehended. It was the second shooting incident to occur at the college campus in two days.
On May 8, 2014
in Lawrenceville, Georgia a person was shot on a student parking lot roof at Georgia Gwinnett College, receiving an injury. The specific cause has not been identified.
On May 14, 2014
in Richmond, California a 14-year-old student was injured during a drive-by shooting in front of John F. Kennedy High School at 8:30 a.m.. He was shot as he was running towards the school campus after a fight took place. The student suffered a serious but stable injury to his leg. No suspects were ever identified.
On May 23, 2014
in Isla Vista, California, 22-year-old Elliot Rodger killed six people and injured fourteen others—by gunshot, stabbing and vehicle ramming—near the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). He then killed himself.
Rodger first stabbed three men to death in his apartment, apparently one by one on their arrival based on blood evidence left at the scene, mainly in the doorway and hallway. After the stabbings, Rodger purchased coffee at a nearby coffee shop. At around 8:30 p.m., he was seen working on his laptop in his car in the parking lot of his apartment building.
Rodger’s YouTube video titled "Elliot Rodger's Retribution", in which he outlined his plans and motives, was uploaded at 9:17. In the video, Rodger’s complaints include rejection by women, and envy of sexually active men. He then emailed his 107,000-word manifesto, My Twisted World: The Story of Elliot Rodger, to 34 people, including his therapist, Charles Sophy, his parents and other family, former teachers, and childhood friends, at 9:18. You can read it here.
The manifesto describes his childhood, family conflicts, frustration about girls and attempts to find a girlfriend, his hatred of women, his contempt for couples and interracial couples and his plans for what he describes as "retribution" on society. Rodger's father was aware that his son had been writing heavily prior to the shooting, but was not privy to the material itself. While on a hike prior to the massacre, the father asked “Can I please read it? Can you please just send it to me?", and Rodger replied "Oh, no, no, no. I'll send it to you soon enough."
According to both the family's attorney and a family friend, Rodger saw multiple therapists from age eight, but had never been formally diagnosed with a mental illness. He was diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified, on the autism spectrum, in 2007. By ninth grade, Rodger was "increasingly bullied", and wrote later that he "cried by [himself] at school every day"; he developed an obsession with the game World of Warcraft, which dominated his life for most of his teens and early 20s.
He attended Crespi Carmelite High School, an all-boys Catholic school in Encino, Los Angeles, and then Taft High School in Woodland Hills, which he only attended for a week due to severe bullying. At Crespi Carmelite High he had also been bullied; in one incident his head was taped to a desk while he was asleep. He graduated in 2009 from Independence Continuation High School in Lake Balboa, then enrolled in Los Angeles Pierce College and Moorpark College before transferring to Santa Barbara City College in 2011, where he stopped taking classes in 2012. He lived in Isla Vista after that.
According to Rodger, in 2012, "the one friend [he] had in the whole world who truly understood [him] ... said he didn't want to be friends anymore" without offering any reason. Rodger had a YouTube account, and a blog titled "Elliot Rodger's Official Blog", through which he expressed loneliness and rejection. He wrote that he had been prescribed risperidone but refused to take it, stating, "After researching this medication, I found that it was the absolute wrong thing for me to take."
After turning 18, Rodger began rejecting mental health care and became increasingly isolated. He said that he was unable to make friends, although acquaintances said that he rebuffed their attempts to be friendly. Family friend Dale Launer said that he counseled Rodger on approaching women, but that Rodger did not follow the advice; Launer also commented that when he met Rodger at eight or nine, "I could see then that there was something wrong with him ... looking back now he strikes me as someone who was broken from the moment of conception."
In April, Rodger's parents had contacted police after becoming alarmed by his behavior and YouTube videos. Sheriff's deputies visited Rodger and determined that he did not meet the criteria for an involuntary mental health commitment; Rodger had told them he had a simple "misunderstanding" with his parents. Deputies did not check the database to see if he owned any weapons, nor did they view the YouTube videos that had prompted Rodger's parents to contact them, nor his many forum posts and threats.
Elliot Rodger wrote in his manifesto that in 2011 he threw coffee on a couple he was jealous of; that in another incident he splashed coffee on two girls for not smiling at him, and in yet another incident in July 2013, wrote that after being mocked at a party, he tried but failed to shove some girls over a ten-foot ledge. Other boys pushed him over instead and he twisted his ankle. When he went back for his sunglasses he was mocked and beaten, and a neighbor saw him coming home, crying and vowing to kill the men and then kill himself. Elliot wrote that the incident was the final trigger for his violent misogynist attack.
Rodger further explains that he wanted to punish women out for rejecting him, and sexually active men out of envy. He said he had originally sought to carry out an attack on Halloween 2013, but thought there would be too many police.
After receiving a copy of the manifesto, Rodger's therapist phoned his mother, who – finding the Retribution video on Rodger's YouTube channel – contacted Rodger's father. In separate cars, his parents left Los Angeles for Santa Barbara, calling Isla Vista police en route. Rodger drove to the Alpha Phi sorority house at Embarcadero del Norte and Segovia Road near UCSB, where he knocked on the front door for a few minutes. When no one answered the door, he then began shooting people nearby. Two women were killed and a third was injured.
Rodger then began driving again, firing into an unoccupied coffee shop on Pardall Road, then several times into a delicatessen; a man was struck seven times and killed. Rodger drove south on Embarcadero del Norte on the wrong side of the street, striking a pedestrian and firing at two people on the sidewalk but missing them. He shot a couple exiting a pizzeria and a passing female cyclist. He drove south on El Embarcadero and shot at and missed a woman, turned east on Del Playa Drive, and made a U-turn to drive west. He exchanged fire with a sheriff's deputy and struck two pedestrians. Turning north on Camino del Sur, Rodger shot and wounded three people at Sabado Tarde Street, and struck a skateboarder and two cyclists with his car. Turning east on Sabado Tarde, he struck another skateboarder with his car and shot two other men at the intersection with Camino Pescadero. On Sabado Tarde near Little Acorn Park, Rodger exchanged gunfire with three sheriff's deputies, and was shot in the hip. He turned south a second time onto El Embarcadero, then west again on Del Playa where he struck a cyclist, and then crashed on the north sidewalk just east of the intersection of Del Playa and Camino Pescadero.
At 9:35, police found Rodger dead inside his car from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head. In the car were three pistols, knives, six empty ten-round magazines, and 548 rounds of unspent ammunition.
All six murder victims were students at UCSB. The men killed at Rodger's apartment were George Chen, 19; Chengyuan "James" Hong, 20; and Weihan "David" Wang, 20. The three who died from gunshot wounds were Katherine Breann Cooper, 22; Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, 20; and Veronika Elizabeth Weiss, 19.
Cooper and Weiss were the women killed outside the Alpha Phi sorority house, while Michaels-Martinez was the victim inside the Isla Vista Deli Mart. Fourteen other people were injured; seven from gunshot wounds and seven by blunt trauma sustained when Rodger struck them with his vehicle.
Roger wrote in his manifesto that being of mixed race made him "different from the normal fully white kids". On one online forum, he said that he opposed interracial dating and made several racist posts regarding African-American, South Asian and East Asian people, writing that seeing men from these other ethnic groups socialize with white women "makes you want to quit life". Rodger stated in his manifesto that, in his ideal world, he would:
quarantine all [women] in concentration camps. At these camps, the vast majority of the female population will be deliberately starved to death. That would be an efficient and fitting way to kill them all off ... I would have an enormous tower built just for myself ... and gleefully watch them all die… a pure world, [where] the man's mind can develop to greater heights than ever before. Future generations will live their lives free of having to worry about the barbarity of sex and women, which will enable them to expand their intelligence and advance the human race to a state of perfect civilization.
He said that he planned to kill his half-brother and stepmother, but was not mentally prepared to kill his father. In September 2012, Rodger visited a shooting range to practice. In November, he purchased his first handgun, a Glock 34 pistol, in Goleta. In early 2013, Rodger bought two additional handguns, both SIG Sauer P226 pistols, writing that they were "of a much higher quality than the Glock" and "a lot more efficient".
Rodger frequented online forums such as PUAHate and ForeverAlone, where he and other men posted misogynistic statements, and described himself online as an "incel" or involuntary celibate – a member of an online subculture based around its members' perceived inability to find a romantic or sexual partner through no fault of their own. Rodger wrote that after purchasing his first gun he "felt a new sense of power. I was now armed. Who's the alpha male now, bitches? I thought to myself, regarding all of the girls who've looked down on me in the past." He also described his plan to invade a sorority house, writing, "I will slaughter every single spoiled, stuck-up, blond slut I see inside there. All those girls I've desired so much. They have all rejected me and looked down on me as an inferior man."
In incel communities, it is common for posts to glorify violence by other incels, and Rodger is the most frequently referenced, with incels often referring to him as a "saint" and sharing memes depicting him as various Christian icons. There are many references to "E.R." in incel forums, and mass violence by incels is regularly referred to as "going E.R." Rodger has been referenced by the perpetrators or suspected perpetrators of several other mass killings. For example, Alek Minassian, who killed 10 and injured 16 in Toronto, Canada, posted on Facebook before the murders: "Private (recruit) Minassian Infantry 00010, wishing to speak to Sgt 4chan please. C23249161. The incel rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys! All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!"
Richard Martinez, the father of victim Christopher Michaels-Martinez, and California Senator Dianne Feinstein blamed the National Rifle Association for the massacre. Other lawmakers called for an investigation into the deputies' contact with Rodgers on April 30, at which time the California gun ownership database reflected the fact that Rodger had bought at least two handguns, had deputies bothered to check, or to watch the YouTube videos that had prompted Rodger's parents to contact them in the first place, or his many forum posts and threats, or conduct anything like an actual police investigation. Doris A. Fuller, the executive director of the Treatment Advocacy Center, said that California law allowed emergency psychiatric evaluations of potentially dangerous individuals, but such actions were never taken during the initial half rate police investigation of Rodger. She said,
Once again, we are grieving over deaths and devastation caused by a young man who was sending up red flags for danger that failed to produce intervention in time to avert tragedy. In this case, the red flags were so big the killer's parents had called police ... and yet the system failed.
On June 5, 2014
in Seattle, Washington 19-year-old students, Paul Lee and Sarah Williams, and 24-year-old student, Thomas Fowler, were shot inside a hallway of Otto Miller Hall at Seattle Pacific University. Freshman Lee was rushed to Harborview Medical Center but later died. The shooter was subdued with pepper spray and tackled to the ground by student building monitor, Jon Meis, as he paused to reload his shotgun. 26-year-old Aaron Rey Ybarra was arrested at the scene and has been charged with premeditated and attempted murder.
Ybarra told detectives that he had been planning a mass shooting for a long time and wanted to kill as many people as possible before killing himself, according to the affidavit. He then planned to kill himself. Prosecutors believe Ybarra snapped, not because of mental illness but his lifelong struggle to fit in. “You have a history of being bullied and being an easy target,” Richardson said.
Richardson showed jurors Ybarra’s confession again when he told detectives that it was his hate for people that made him kill. “Once you do it, it’s like, oh my God, it's so fun,” Ybarra said, but Ybarra tried to take those words back. “That was just a cover-up,” Ybarra said in court. When prosecutors pressed him on why he was changing his story, Ybarra insisted it was the voices of God and Satan that made him shoot innocent people he didn’t even know. Ybarra was convicted in November 2016 and in February 2017 was sentenced to 112 years in prison.
On June 10, 2014
in Troutdale, Oregon at around 8:30 a.m. shots were fired at Reynolds High School. 14-year-old freshman Emilio Hoffman was killed, a physical education teacher was injured, and the gunman, 15-year-old Jared Padgett, exchanged gunfire with police officers and then committed suicide in a restroom stall.
On September 9, 2014
in Miami, Florida Towards the end of the school day, one alternative school student in Miami was shot as a small group of students tussled. The injury was minor, requiring hospitalization, and five young adults were later questioned.
On September 11, 2014
in Taylorsville, Utah an elementary school teacher with a concealed weapon permit had her gun fire accidentally in a faculty bathroom at Westbrook Elementary School. The bullet shattered a toilet, and fragments of both the bullet and the porcelain injured her leg.
On September 27, 2014
in Terre Haute, Indiana a 20-year-old Indiana State University student was shot by another student on Saturday inside a residence hall. The injuries were not fatal, and a full recovery was expected. The shooter was arrested on the following day.
On September 30, 2014
in Albemarle, North Carolina two students got in an argument at Albemarle High School around 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, and one of the students shot the other twice including once in the leg. The student who committed the shooting was allegedly involved in a stabbing of a football player at West Montgomery High School, 20 miles away in Mount Gilead, North Carolina. Albemarle High had held an active shooter training over the summer that prepared the faculty for this incident.
On September 30, 2014
in Louisville, Kentucky one student was injured at Fern Creek Traditional High School. The incident occurred around 1 p.m., reportedly after student became enraged in a hallway and pulled out a gun. The student was arrested later that day.
On October 3, 2014
in Fairburn, Georgia after a homecoming football game, the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Kristofer Hunter, occurred in the Langston Hughes High School parking lot. The assailant, 18-year-old Eric Dana Johnson Jr., turned himself in a week later.
On October 24, 2014
in Marysville, Washington at the Marysville Pilchuck High School a 15-year-old freshman, Jaylen Fryberg, shot five students in the school cafeteria of Marysville Pilchuck High School before committing suicide. The motive for the shooting is unknown, although a student at the school stated that "[he] was angry at a girl who would not date him”, and that the girl was one of the people shot, a claim that was supported by other classmates and by Fryberg's family members.
Fryberg invited friends to meet him for lunch via text message, urging some of them to skip classes to do so. Minutes before the shooting, he sent a group text message to his family and the families of his would-be victims, apologizing for what he was about to do, and laying out his ideas for his funeral.
The invited students sat together at one table. Fryberg entered the cafeteria and sat at a different table until at 10:39 a.m., according to eyewitnesses, he stood up, approached the table where his friends were seated, had a verbal altercation with them, then pulled out a handgun and fired at least eight shots, shooting “in a calm, methodical way”. Fryberg was described by a witness as having "a blank stare" and "staring at the victims as he shot them", and only targeted the table where his friends were sitting. Fryberg died at the scene from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. At the time of the shooting, seven students were seated at their table, and about 150 people were inside the cafeteria.
A vice-principal ordered the school into lockdown. Some students fled the cafeteria immediately after the shooting started. Several climbed over the fence of a house next to the school and sought shelter there. Other students disregarded the school lockdown rules and fled their classrooms while they were in place. As the school was cleared by local law enforcement officials, students were taken by bus to a nearby church. It took two hours for officers to evacuate hundreds of students who were still hiding inside the school, and more than 100 witnesses were interviewed by investigators.
On September 2, 2015, investigative documents were released to the public by Snohomish County authorities. They consist mainly of interviews with Fryberg's classmates, many of whom were feet away when Fryberg first opened fire. Those interested can read those documents here.
Students Zoë Galasso, 14, Gia Soriano, 14, Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, 14, and Andrew Fryberg, 15, were killed in the attack, along with the perpetrator Jaylen Fryberg, 15. Nate Hatch, 14, was wounded after being shot in the cafeteria, and two unidentified victims had minor injuries of unknown cause.
Fryberg was a wrestler and football player at the school. He was described as "generally happy", "a really nice kid", and "not a violent person". He was later said to have been experiencing difficulties in adjusting to the school environment, with his grades slipping and missing classes for several days. One week prior to the shooting, Fryberg had been announced as the school's freshman homecoming prince at a football game. He used multiple social media accounts that frequently depicted him hunting and using rifles. Fryberg's last few Twitter posts were described as “emotional”. Before the shooting, a fellow student had asked him if he was doing okay following a fight with another student who had been using racial slurs. Fryberg had been suspended from school and the football team following the fight.
A student claimed that Fryberg fought with a student over a girl, and another said one of Fryberg's victims was a girl who turned him down when he asked her out on a date. The girl, identified as Zoë Raine Galasso, and reported to have been dating Fryberg's cousin Andrew, was killed at the scene by a single gunshot wound to her head. Fryberg had an ex-girlfriend, Shilene George, to whom he sent pictures of himself with the handgun in the cafeteria immediately before the shooting. She told authorities she ended the relationship with him just days earlier because Fryberg became violent with her.
On the evening of October 26 Gia Soriano died from her wounds, and on October 31 Shaylee Chuckulnaskit died from her wounds. Andrew Fryberg, a cousin of Jaylen Fryberg, died from his wounds two weeks after the shooting. He was the only victim shot twice. Nate Hatch, another cousin of Jaylen Fryberg, suffered a single gunshot wound to the jaw and, after having surgery to repair his jaw, he was discharged from the hospital on November 6. Two other students were treated for minor injuries at the school, although it was unclear whether these injuries were inflicted by gunfire. Two female students, including another cousin of Fryberg's, were not injured by gunfire even though they were sitting at the same table as the victims.
The ownership of the Beretta handgun used in the shooting was traced to Fryberg's father. He reportedly lied on background checks that there were no restrictions imposed against him. In 2002, his then-partner issued a permanent order of protection against him after he threatened and assaulted her, and the order of protection barred him from making legal firearm purchases. A federal jury found him guilty of knowingly owning firearms that he legally was forbidden to possess and on January 11, 2016, he was sentenced to two years in prison.
On November 20, 2014
in Tallahassee, Florida sometime around 12:45 a.m., someone opened fired in or near the Strozier Library at Florida State University. Three people suffered gunshot injuries and were taken to a local area hospital. One was in critical condition, another was in good condition, and the third was shortly released after treatment. The gunman, identified as Myron May, an alumnus from the school, started firing towards responding police officers and was fatally shot by the police on the steps of the library.
On November 20, 2014
in Miami, Florida two teens were shot during a fight at Miami Carol City High School. One of the boys died.
On December 12, 2014
in Portland, Oregon at Rosemary Anderson High School a gunman shot three students and a man outside Rosemary Anderson High School in north Portland. A 16-year-old girl was in critical condition, while the others suffered minor injuries. Police stated the shooting appeared to be gang-related.
On December 13
a 22-year-old man who was on parole at the time was arrested in connection with the shooting and the following day an 18-year-old male was arrested along with one other teen. 16-year-old Marquise Murphy was found to be the shooter, he pled guilty and he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Marquise's 22-year-old brother pled no contest and was sentenced to 7 plus years in prison, 18-year-old Marquel Dugas, a friend who accompanied the Murphy brothers to the high school, also pled no contest and was sentenced to 8 plus years in prison, and a fourth man charged in relation to the case, 19-year old, Geno Malique King, was accused of trying to help Marquise Murphy flee the state by driving a car toward Las Vegas, and he was also charged with trying to elude police who caught up to him, pled guilty and was sentenced to 1 and a half years of probation.