A look at the 10 deadliest mass shootings in modern US history


Posted on: October 3rd, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The massacre along the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday night will go down as the country’s deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

At least 59 people were killed and over 500 wounded by a rogue gunman who showered bullets onto the staging grounds of a country music concert across the street from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. The carnage was caused by 64-year-old retiree Stephen Paddock, who was perched from the 32nd floor of the hotel while the three-day Route 91 Harvest Festival was taking place.

John Cohen, a former counterterrorism coordinator for the Department of Homeland Security and consultant for ABC News, said that the country “has experienced an increase in mass casualty attacks” wrought by mentally troubled individuals “who commit mass murder in furtherance of some perceived grievance or ideological cause.”

“The shooting in Las Vegas is yet another example of what is becoming a long list of attacks in the United States,” he said on Monday.

Historically, the tragic event in Las Vegas has overtaken the now second deadliest mass shooting in the U.S., which was 2016’s deadly rampage at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, which left 49 dead.

ABC News has compiled a list of the 10 deadliest mass shootings. Notably, three of the top four on the list were committed in the past five years, and the majority took place at soft targets, including restaurants, schools, and churches.

Las Vegas mass shooting – at least 59 deaths – Oct. 1, 2017

Paddock, from Mesquite, Nevada, was identified by authorities Monday as the lone gunman holed up in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino hotel room, packing as many as 19 guns. At around 10 p.m. he opened fire upon thousands of country music concert attendees below a hotel room, killing 59 people and injuring more than 500.

Pulse Nightclub mass shooting (Orlando, Florida) – 49 deaths – June 12, 2016

At around 2 a.m. Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old former security guard, fired bullets and killed 49 people who were inside of an Orlando gay nightclub called Pulse. During the rampage, Mateen, who was a U.S. citizen, was killed by responding police in a shootout. Mateen’s ISIS-inspired hate crime injured more than 50 people. Law enforcement sources told ABC News Mateen’s wife, Noor Mateen, had tried to dissuade her husband from committing the act. She was charged with aiding and abetting him, as well as committing obstruction. Mateen has pleaded not guilty.

Virginia Tech University mass shooting (Blacksburg, Virginia) – 32 deaths – April 16, 2007

Virginia Tech senior Seung-hui Cho, 23, purchased a 9mm Glock handgun on March 13, 2007, and a .22-caliber gun within a week before he started shooting people at the Blacksburg, Virginia, campus, including five professors and 26 fellow students. The South Korean-born young man began his rampage inside a dorm room, where two students were shot and killed. Cho, according to police, rearmed at his dorm room and left a note before going out and killing 30 more people in four classrooms, He then turned a gun on himself.

Sandy Hook mass shooting (Newtown, Connecticut) – 26 deaths at Newtown, Connecticut, Sandy Hook Elementary School – Dec. 14, 2012

Adam Lanza was 20 years old when he entered Sandy Hook Elementary School armed with a bulletproof vest, two semi-automatic handguns, a Glock and a Sig Sauer, as well as a semi-automatic rifle. He breached the school by shooting out a window pane of the front office, then gunned down and killed 26 people, including 20 first-graders and six adult school staff members. Not included in the death count is the murder of Lanza’s mother Nancy Lanza, who police say was slain before the young man arrived at the school, as well as Adam Lanza, who took his own life at Sandy Hook.

Luby’s Cafeteria (Killeen, Texas) – 23 deaths – Oct. 16, 1991

After slamming his Ford Ranger truck into the window of Luby’s Cafeteria, 35-year-old George Jo Hennard reportedly said “This is what the women of Bell County made me do,” according to the Killeen Daily Herald. He then started firing his guns and murdered 23 people, and left 20 more wounded. Ten of Hennard’s victims were killed by single shots to the head. Once police responded, Hennard retreated to a restroom, where he committed suicide.

McDonald’s massacre (San Ysidro, California) – 21 deaths – July 18, 1984

James Oliver Huberty entered the fast food chain armed with a long-barreled Uzi, a pump-action shotgun and a handgun and took the lives of 21 adults and children while injuring 19 others, including an elderly person and a baby, according to the San Diego Tribune. An hour after the shootings, a police sharpshooter killed Huberty, reported the San Diego Tribune. Before he went out to commit mass murder, he reportedly told his wife, “I’m going hunting… Hunting for humans,” according to the New York Daily News.

University of Texas Tower Shooting (Austin, Texas) – 14 deaths – Aug. 1, 1966

U.S. Marine sniper Charles Joseph Whitman lugged a cache of rifles, pistols and a sawed-off shotgun up to the observation deck of the university’s landmark clock tower. He then fired at will, striking unsuspecting students. He killed 14 people and wounded at least 30.

Whitman’s terror was ultimately foiled after police officers Ramiro Martinez and Houston McCoy shot him dead.

Including the murders of his wife and mother, whom he killed earlier that day, the death toll stands at 16.

San Bernardino mass shooting (Inland Regional Center at San Bernardino, California) – 14 deaths – Dec. 2, 2015

Husband and wife Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, dressed in tactical gear and armed themselves with assault rifles and pistols when they entered a mandatory Christmas party at the social services center, where Syed worked, and fatally shot his unarmed colleagues.

The couple killed a total of 14 people at the party, then fled the center and died in a hail of bullets on a San Bernardino street when cops caught up to their car.

On the day of the attack, FBI agents later confirmed, the couple had researched ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi online. The shooting left 14 dead and at least 17 injured.

Edmond Post Office (Edmond, Oklahoma) – 14 deaths – Aug. 20, 1986

Patrick Henry Sherrill, 44, was a part-time postman who returned to his office a day after receiving a “poor performance” review. Armed with three handguns, Sherrill entered the federal building through the back and shot anyone in sight. He murdered 14 fellow postal workers 10 minutes before fatally shooting himself in the head. Authorities later determined Sherrill was angry that he might lose his job.

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