(Trends Wide) — Mass shootings in the United States increased during the coronavirus pandemic, and even doubled in July 2020 compared to the previous year, according to research published Thursday in the magazine. JAMA Open Network.
The researchers focused on data from April 2020 to July 2021 from the Gun Violence Archive on mass shootings, in which four or more people were killed or injured, not including the assailant.
In that 15-month period, there were 343 mass shootings, 217 people killed, and 1,498 more people injured in the United States than had been projected.
The team observed an increase in mass shootings after May 2020, compared to trends in previous years. There were 88 such shootings in July 2020, 42 in July 2019 and 45 in July 2018, the team noted.
City police departments have also reported an increase in gun violence during the pandemic. In Chicago, shootings are up 64% so far this year compared to the same period two years ago.
There were 611 mass shootings nationwide last year, up from 417 the year before, according to the Gun Violence Archives. There have been 498 mass shootings this year, 34 so far in September alone.
After April 2020, the team said there was an average of 0.78 additional daily mass shootings, 0.49 additional people killed each day, and 3.40 additional people injured each day.
The increase in mass shootings during the pandemic was seen in all 882 cities included in the data, but cities with low and high mass shootings before the pandemic, as opposed to cities in the mid-range, were the ones that contributed the most to the overall increase in fatalities.
The large increase in mass shootings during the pandemic is consistent with the idea that this violence may be influenced by social and economic factors, the researchers note.
– Trends Wide’s Theresa Waldrop contributed to this report.