U.S. News

17 school shootings in 45 days — Florida massacre is one of many tragedies in 2018

Key Points
  • The attack on Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is the 17th school shooting in the U.S. within the first 45 days of 2018.
  • Several of the deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history have taken place in schools.
  • "No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school," President Donald Trump says in a tweet.
Florida massacre marks the 18th U.S. school shooting in 2018

[Editor's note: A previous version of this story, using data provided by Everytown for Gun Safety, said there were 18 school shootings in 2018. Everytown has since revised that number down to 17 after the Washington Post published an article disputing the group's figures. For more clarity on Everytown's data, click here.]

It's not even two full months into 2018 and there have already been 17 school shootings — more than twice as many as this time last year.

The attack on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, is the 17th U.S. school shooting within the first 45 days of the year, according to Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun control advocacy organization.

Everytown has been tracking shootings in schools and universities since 2013. It reports any time a firearm is discharged within a school building or on campus, whether accidentally or intentionally and whether or not anyone has been harmed.

Seventeen people were slain and 14 people were hospitalized in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, authorities said. The suspect, 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz, was booked on 17 counts of premeditated murder Thursday, The Associated Press reported.

"No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school," said President Donald Trump, who has resisted calls for greater gun control measures after previous mass shootings.

Florida shooter used an AR-15 in massacre

My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting. No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school.

On Thursday, he said people should report suspicious behavior.

So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!

NBC News said Trump may make a public address Thursday about the shooting.

Wednesday's attack in Broward County was the deadliest school shooting since the 2012 rampage that killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, said Sarah Tofte, director of research and implementation at Everytown.

The number of school shootings this year represents a significant uptick from previous years.

The count for 2017 school shooting was 65, including seven through Feb. 14. The last year that neared 2018's total for the first 45 days of the year was 2014, in which there were 15 school shootings midway through February. There were 58 total school shootings in 2014.

"When you look at all the ways children are impacted by gun violence, you realize what a tremendous problem we have as a country," Tofte said. "We really do deserve to live in a place where children are free from gun violence in their homes, schools and communities."

Everytown counts 291 school shootings since 2013, which breaks down to about one per week.

The massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Wednesday was the 180th mass shooting since 2009 and the third in 2018. Everytown for Gun Safety defines a mass shooting as a gun attack that claims the lives of four or more people. Children make up 25 percent of fatalities in mass shootings, Tofte said.

Several of the deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history have taken place in schools, including at Sandy Hook and the 2007 attack Virginia Tech University where 32 people were gunned down.