(KLFY) — On the heels of this week’s horrific shooting deaths of 21 people at a school in Uvalde, Tx., data shows that Louisiana is the top state in the nation for mass shootings per capita, with second place not even being particularly close.
Data available through the Gun Violence Archive (GVA) claims that Louisiana has the highest number of mass shootings per capita in the U.S., with 3.44 mass shootings per million residents. The GVA considers 16 incidents in Louisiana to be mass shootings in 2022 as of May 27, and the state’s rate is around six times the national average of only 0.56 mass shootings per million residents.
The GVA’s top five states for mass shootings per capita are:
- Louisiana: 3.44 per million
- South Carolina: 1.95 per million
- Mississippi: 1.69 per million
- Arkansas: 1.33 per million
- Alabama: 1.19 per million
Louisiana is the 25th largest state in the union, and yet the only states to have more mass shootings are are the two largest: California with 20 shootings, and Texas with 21. It should also be noted that 16 states in the U.S. have had zero mass shootings so far this year, according to the GVA.
The following incidents have been classified as “mass shootings” by the GVA for 2022 as of May 27:
|Jan. 19||New Orleans||7800 block of Keats St.||0||4|
|Feb. 25||Baton Rouge||6401 Bluebonnet Blvd.||2||2|
|Feb. 26||Bogalusa||E. 4th and MLK Jr. Dr.||0||10|
|Feb. 27||Alexandria||3700 block of 3rd St.||0||4|
|March 6||Monroe||1051 MLK Jr. Dr.||0||4|
|March 18||New Iberia||200 block of C.V. Jackson Dr.||0||5|
|April 2||Shreveport||2025 Marshall St.||1||3|
|April 2||Monroe||100 Sterlington Rd.||1||5|
|April 10||Baton Rouge||2700 block of Lorraine St.||0||4|
|April 17||Baldwin||Rosebud Rd. and Baptiste St.||0||5|
|April 27||Opelousas||700 block of Mia St.||2||3|
|April 29||New Orleans||3201 Magazine St.||0||6|
|May 1||Lafayette||500 Jefferson St.||0||12|
|May 3||Baton Rouge||2100 block of N. 39th St.||0||5|
|May 6||New Orleans||4800 block of Alcee Fortier Blvd.||2||4|
|May 20||New Orleans||St. Claude Ave. and Forstall St.||1||3|
A Note on Methodology
At the same time, it should be noted that the GVA’s methodology is its own, as there is no federal legal definition of the term “mass shooting.” The federal government does have definitions for “mass murders” — in which multiple homicides occur — but it should be noted that it does not have a legal definition for multiple shootings that happen at one time but do not result in deaths.
For reference, Congress set a definition of “mass murder” in 2012, calling it “three or more killings in a single incident” no matter what kind of weapons were used. This was done in response to the Sandy Hook shooting in Newport, Conn. In the 1980s, the FBI defined “mass murder” to be when “four or more victims are murdered, within one event, and in one or more locations in close geographical proximity.” Both definitions can be found in a 2015 Congressional Research Service report. Mass murder differs from serial murder in that there is no “cooldown phase” or gap in time in between shootings, according to the FBI.
The GVA’s definition of a “mass shooting,” as stated on its website seems to be closer to the FBI’s threshold. GVA defines mass shooting as “four or more shot or killed, not including the shooter.” The GVA also notes that its definitions could change over time as more analysis of information becomes available. The GVA states it uses automated queries and manual research from over 7,500 sources nationwide, including police, media, and government sources, among others.
“GVA believes that equal importance is given to the counting of those injured as well as killed in a mass shooting incident,” the website states. “The FBI does not define Mass Shooting in any form. They do define Mass Killing but that includes all forms of weapon, not just guns.”