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The 10 Deadliest School Shootings in the US

US school shootings deadliest
On May 24, 2022, an 18-year-old perpetrated one of the deadliest school shootings in US history. Credit: Public Domain

In this year alone, the US has already experienced 27 school shootings, one of which occurred just yesterday, on Tuesday, and ranks amongst the deadliest to have taken place in the country.

In the wake of such unimaginable tragedies, people across the world attempt to understand their cause and even provide solutions, but it seems that such massacres continue despite the bloodshed.

The most deadly school shooting in the US took place on April 16, 2007 in Blacksburg, Virginia on the campus of Virginia Tech. Seung-Hui Cho, a 23-year-old student at the university, killed 32 people of which 25 were students and five were faculty members during a rampage that lasted over two hours. A total of seventeen other people were injured during the attack, and Cho killed himself before he could be apprehended.

Now considered the deadliest school shooting, the Virginia Tech attack was once the deadliest mass shooting in the US in general but now ranks third.

The second deadliest school shooting was the Sandy Hook massacre during which 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed 27 people, twenty of whom were first graders at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, on December 14, 2012. Lanza also murdered his mother before going to the school to commit the heinous act and then killed four teachers, the principal, and the school psychologist.

There were two people who were injured but survived the attack. Lanza killed himself when the police arrived at the school.

The most recent school shooting to occur in the US, which took place on May 24, 2022, is the third deadliest to have been committed in the country.

Uvalde attack one of the deadliest school shootings in the US

The attack, which took place in Uvalde, Texas, shocked the nation. Salvador Ramos, who was eighteen years old, entered the Robb Elementary School and killed 22 people—nineteen children, two teachers, and the perpetrator’s own grandmother. Ramos was killed by police during the attack.

On August 1, 1966, 25-year-old engineering student and former U.S. Marine Charles Whitman committed the fourth deadliest school shooting in America. Whitman managed to enter the clock tower on the University of Texas-Austin campus, and after killing three people inside of it, he reached the top, where he began shooting at people below.

During the 96-minute attack, Whitman killed twelve people and wounded 31 others. Before committing the massacre, he killed his own wife and mother. The perpetrator was shot and killed by police.

The fifth deadliest tragedy in an American school was the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. Nikolas Cruz, a nineteen-year-old former student, entered the school on February 14, 2018 after having previously being expelled. Upon setting foot in the high school, Cruz set off a fire alarm and opened fire on the crowds of people.

The attacker killed seventeen people and injured another seventeen during the attack. He was able to blend in with students fleeing the attack and was apprehended by police in a nearby neighborhood after simply walking out of the school. He was arrested and charged with murder and attempted murder.

Perhaps the most well-known school shooting, the Columbine High School massacre, is the sixth deadliest attack of its kind in the US. On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris, eighteen, and Dylan Klebold, aged seventeen, killed thirteen people—twelve students and a teacher.

The two students also wounded 21 people during the attack and eventually killed themselves. This attack, while not the first of its kind to take place in the US nor the deadliest, was extremely traumatic for the nation and is considered one of the most important and tragic events to take place in recent memory in the US. Tragically, it inspired many copycats attacks, and many people who went on to commit school shootings had an interest in the two killers.

On May 18, 2018, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, a seventeen-year-old student at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, killed ten people and wounded fourteen. This makes the attack the seventh deadliest in the history of the nation.

He began shooting at his classmates after pulling the fire alarm. Pagourtzis was carrying a shotgun, a .38 revolver, and multiple pipe bombs were found at the school. The attacker was taken into custody by police.

The eighth deadliest school shooting in the US took place in Roseburg, Oregon on October 1, 2015 on the campus of Umpqua Community College. Christopher Harper-Mercer, 26, killed a total of eight students at the college, as well as one teacher, and injured nine others. The attacker then committed suicide.

In Red Lake, Minnesota, on March 21, 2005, Jeff Weise, aged seventeen, killed his grandfather and his grandfather’s partner. He then went to Red Lake Senior High School, where he killed five students, one teacher, and a security guard. He injured seven other people during the attack, which is the ninth deadliest school shooting in the US, before killing himself.

The tenth deadliest school shooting to have occurred in the US is the Oikos University shooting, which took place on April 2, 2012 in Oakland, California.

One L. Goh, 43, entered the campus of Oikos University, a Christian college, and killed seven students and wounded three others. Police later arrested him after he stole one of the victim’s car and fled. Goh was determined mentally unfit for trial and committed for treatment.

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