The Oregon mall shooting and the mass school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School have dominated the headlines during the past week and called attention to extreme violence in the United States. At a time when most Americans are wrapping Christmas presents and baking gingerbread cookies, mass shooting victims’ families are in extreme emotional pain and burying loved ones who were taken far too soon.
Trying to understand what prompted such horrific mass shootings and how to prevent such incidents from ever happening again are questions which have plagued the nation for more than a decade. With few exceptions, the mall and school shootings since 1999 have largely happened at the hands of young men ranging in age from 18 to their early 20s, Oregon Live notes. The shootings have been largely in suburban or seemingly safe middle class areas.
Even as gun laws have become stricter, the mass shootings have continued. There is no simply answer to ending the senseless violence in America. Experts of all shapes and sizes are making the rounds on news shows offering their advice on correcting the growing problem of mass murders in the United States. The answer will likely not come quickly. Hopefully as a nation, we can take the steps necessary to curtail such tragedies in the future and honor all of the innocent victims who were murdered at malls, schools, and other public spaces.
The ThinkProgress timeline of mass shootings in America points out eight such tragedies have happened in the country this year alone. Here is a look at the deadliest mall shootings in America.
December 11, 2012– Two people were killed and one wounded at the Clackamas Town Center. Shooter Jacob Roberts, 22, took his own life during the mall shooting.
October 21, 2012 – Radcliffe Haughton, 45, killed three people and wounded four at a spa in the Brookfield Square Mall complex in Wisconsin.
November 12, 2011 – James Coleman, 22, killed two people at the Arundel Mills Mall in Hanover, Maryland. Coleman was later shot and killed by police officers at his home. The mall shooter also wounded a police officer.
November 26, 2008 – Barry Lee Saunders Jr., 21, killed one person at the Westfield Southcenter Mall in Tukwila, Washington. Saunders was captured in Portland four days later.
December 5, 2007 – Robert Hawkins, 19, killed eight people before taking his own life at the Westroads Mall. Five more shoppers at the Omaha mall were wounded during the mass shooting.
April 29, 2007 – David Logsdon, 51, killed two shoppers and wounded a law enforcement officer before being shot and killed by the police at the Ward Parkway Center in Kansas City, Missouri.
February 12, 2007 – Five people were murdered and four killed at the Trolley Square Mall in Salt Lake City. Sulejman Talovic, 18, was ultimately shot and killed by police officers.
November 20, 2005 – Dominick Maldonado, 20, wounded seven people at the Tacoma Mall. Maldonado also took four hostages at the Washington shopping center before he later surrendered.