WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKRN) – The number of active shooter incidents rose more than 50% from 2020 to 2021, according to a report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released Monday. The FBI designated 61 separate shootings as active shooter incidents last year, per the report. In those incidents, 103 people were killed and 140 wounded, excluding the shooters.
Three of those incidents took place in Tennessee, including two in the mid-state: the Antioch Smile Direct Club shooting in August, the Gallatin Lock 4 Park shooting in June and the Collierville Kroger shooting in October.
The report says the number of active shooter situations has trended upward from 2017 to 2021. The 61 active shooter incidents last year constitute a 52.5% increase over the previous year and a 96.8% increase from 2017.
Also trending upward was the number of casualties in 2021, which represented a 48% increase from the previous year’s 164. The casualties in 2021 represents the third highest total casualty count over the last five years, per the report. 2021 also saw the highest number of deaths since 2017, a 171.1% increase from 2020 and above the average (92.3) for the 2017-2020 timeframe. There was an 11.1% increase in people wounded (140) in 2021 compared with 126 in 2020, though this was below the average (253) for the period 2017-2020.
In Tennessee, the Collierville Kroger shooting was listed as one with one of the highest casualties, with one person killed and 14 wounded. It was listed behind only the FedEx Ground Plainfield Operations Center shooting in Indianapolis, which saw eight people killed and seven wounded.
The report also outlined an emerging trend from FBI officials involving roving active shooters; specifically, shooters who shoot in multiple locations, either in one day or in various locations over several days.
Each incident in 2021 was carried out by a separate individual. Sixty of the shooters were male; one was female. The shooters ranged in age from 12 to 67 years old. Two of them wore body armor to carry out their shootings. Thirty shooters were apprehended by law enforcement, 14 were killed by law enforcement, four were killed by armed citizens, one shooter was killed in a vehicle accident during a law enforcement pursuit, 11 shooters died by suicide and one shooter remains at large.
The FBI categorizes active shooters and mass shooters differently. An “active shooter” is defined by the FBI as “one or more individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area.” Implicit in the FBI’s definition is the shooter’s use of a firearm. Also inherently implied is the ongoing nature of an incident, and thus the potential for the response to affect the outcome, whereas a mass killing is defined as three or more killings in a single incident.
Since 2013, the TBI has partnered with the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance to help deliver Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response (ALERRT) to law enforcement. ALERRT is the national standard for active shooting response, regardless of responder agency and incorporates tactical best practices and lesson learned from previous active shooter incidents.
The FBI also supports the “Don’t Name Them” campaign, which works in conjunction with ALERRT standards. The campaign encourages media, law enforcement and public information officers to shift their focus away from the perpetrators of active shooter incidents toward the victims, survivors an heroes who stopped them, as well as the communities that come together to help in the healing process.
The agency also offers resources on how to report someone suspected of planning an active shooting incident, including training videos. Anyone suspected of carrying out such an act should be immediately reported to law enforcement.
For in-depth statistics from the FBI, read the full report here.