Crime

School Shootings in 22 Years Since Columbine: 284 and Counting

A photo of the Columbine High School memorial, as tweeted by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.
A photo of the Columbine High School memorial, as tweeted by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office. @jeffcosheriffco
Twenty-two years ago today, on April 20, 1999, two seniors at Columbine High School killed twelve students and a teacher before taking their own lives in an appalling episode that changed the way law enforcement officials from coast to coast deal with mass shootings, as witnessed by the response to the attack on a Boulder King Soopers last month. But while temporary facility closures and transitions to remote learning prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic have slowed the carnage, school shootings continue to happen with disturbing regularity.

At least 284 school shootings have taken place in the United States since the Columbine massacre, including 44 in the past two years.

Our most recent school shootings list, published in April 2019 following widespread school closures across the metro area because of concerns about a Florida woman obsessed with the Columbine slayings who was later found dead, counted 240 school shootings in the prior twenty years, as documented on a crowdsourced Wikipedia page that's the most comprehensive roster we've found. Of the additional 44 shootings now on that same source, all but five happened prior to shutdowns prompted by the novel coronavirus. But with more schools now open nationwide, the pace appears to be picking up again. Three school shootings have taken place in the last three months, including one in Tennessee last week.

Moreover, the total is likely even higher. For instance, the list doesn't include the August 28, 2018, shooting outside DSST Cole Middle School that severely injured one student. Denver police saw the incident as gang-related, but it would certainly seem to qualify for inclusion anyway, considering that school was in session and the attack took place just prior to 2 p.m. And if this shooting wasn't counted, it's likely that others were missed around the country.


Not all of these episodes resulted in injuries, but plenty of them did — including the STEM School Highlands Ranch assault in May 2019. And the proliferation of mass shootings in recent weeks only adds to fears that the downturn in school-based attacks won't last much longer.

Here are the 44 school shootings since April 20, 2019. Click here to see the previous 240.

241. April 25, 2019 Texas City, Texas
At College of the Mainland, a police cadet student, 21-year-old Clayton Whatley, reached into his backpack and accidentally discharged a loaded handgun. Two other students were shot in the leg, and a third was grazed.

242. April 25, 2019 Stone Mountain, Georgia
A teen armed with a pellet gun fired at Wynbrooke Elementary School, inflicting minor injuries on 10 children.

243. April 30, 2019 Charlotte, North Carolina
University of North Carolina at Charlotte shooting: A shooter on the University of North Carolina at Charlotte campus killed two and injured four on the last day of classes. Riley Howell, a student in the classroom, was credited with stopping the shooter.

244. May 4, 2019 Eugene, Oregon
A 21-year-old Lane Community College student was killed outside a fraternity house at the University of Oregon.

245. May 6, 2019 Riverview, Florida
A person shot through a window of an elementary school bus with 11 kids inside.

246. May 7, 2019 Highlands Ranch, Colorado
STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting: Two shooters killed 1 student and injured 8 others at STEM School Highlands Ranch.

247. May 7, 2019 Savannah, Georgia
A man who was not a student at Savannah State University shot and wounded a student at a residence hall.

248. May 8, 2019 Chicago, Illinois
A 19-year-old student was shot in the neck and jaw at Second Chance High School when he and two friends were leaving the school by 18-year-old student Andres Salazar, who was driving a car. Salazar was charged with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm.

249. May 17, 2019 Jacksonville, Florida
Arthur Davin Jones III, a 19-year-old student shot Shamon Micken, a 16-year-old student at Raines High School. Jones fled the state and was arrested days later in Georgia. Jones was charged with attempted murder and pled not guilty.

250. June 21, 2019 Flint, Michigan
During a basketball competition in the gym of Carman-Ainsworth High School during a fight involving dozens of people, shots were fired, and Eithan Williams, a 15-year-old student, was hit in the chest. Williams left the hospital four days later, and doctors said he was lucky to be alive. Four students aged 14–16 were arrested.

251. July 2, 2019 Anchorage, Alaska
At Williwaw Elementary School, a fight broke out on the basketball court which resulted in a teen being shot and injured.

252. July 19, 2019 San Diego, California
At Monroe Clark Middle School, a teen fired a BB gun at the school, causing minor damage to the campus, then fled the scene. Nobody was killed or injured in the incident.

253. August 8, 2019 Montgomery, Alabama
38-year-old Isaiah Johnson dropped his son off at Blount Elementary School, and then got into an argument with another father over a traffic dispute. He discharged a firearm into the father's vehicle.

254. August 27, 2019 Los Angeles, California
A student standing in the lunch line was struck in the jaw by a bullet fired from off campus.

255. August 30, 2019 Toledo, Ohio
As spectators were leaving a football game Central Catholic High School. a 16-year-old boy was shot by another teen. Neither of the students attended Central Catholic High School, and no fights happened before the shooting; no arrests were made.

256. August 31, 2019 Mobile, Alabama
17-year-old Deangelo Dejuan Parnell shot 9 people during a confrontation at a stadium where a high school football game was being played. A tenth person suffered a stroke.

257. September 6, 2019 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Near the end of a football game at Jeannette High School, Damien Williams and Greg Harper got into an argument outside the stadium. The argument escalated to the point where Williams was shot in the chest by Harper after Williams allegedly punched Harper twice. Williams died, and Harper was charged with homicide and reckless endangerment. Harper pled not guilty and claimed he acted in self-defense.

258. September 13, 2019 Newport News, Virginia
After a football game at the school stadium, shots were fired and three teens ages 14 and 19 were injured. No arrests were made.

259. September 14, 2019 Fort Worth, Texas
As a youth football game was happening at Eastern Hills High School, parents got into a fight and shots were fired, injuring a woman and her 12-year-old daughter. Thirty-nine-year-old Chanita Holly was arrested and charged with making terroristic threats; a man who was reportedly wearing a skeleton mask was also a suspect in the incident and believed to be the trigger man.

260. September 20, 2019 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
During the second quarter of a football game between Imhotep Institute Charter High School and Mastery Gratz high school at Marcus memorial stadium, multiple gunshots were fired; a 15-year-old was shot in the thigh and a 14-year-old in the foot. The police said multiple shell casings were found, but it was unclear if the shooting happened in or outside the stadium. No suspects were arrested.

261. September 27, 2019 Richmond, California
As people were leaving a football game at De Anza High School against Pinole Valley High School, a fight broke out, gunshots were fired and three teens were injured, A 17-year-old boy was shot in the back of the head, a 16-year-old girl in the upper torso, and another 17-year-old boy in the leg. No arrests were made.

262. October 13, 2019 Nashville, Tennessee
A 19-year-old student was found unconscious with a bullet wound to his abdomen. Authorities said there were no reports of a shooting or suspicious activity on campus. Another student, George Wells, was later charged.

263. October 22, 2019 Santa Rosa, California
A 16-year-old student was shot twice, at least once in the abdomen by a 17-year-old classmate across the street from Ridgway High School, an alternative school next to Santa Rosa High School. The victim was hospitalized in stable condition. The 17-year-old was arrested in a classroom, and the gun used was found later that night in a bush three miles away. He was charged with attempted murder.

264. November 5, 2019 Hazleton, Pennsylvania
Four people were charged after a fight in Luzerne County that left three students hurt; one of them, 19-year-old Noberto Polanco-Rodriguez, admitted to shooting one of the students with an orange flare gun that caused a serious injury to one of the student's arms and was charged with aggravated assault. Luis Arizmendy-Nunez, 22, Christhofany Maria, 19, and Jose Antonio Vargas,19, were charged with simple assault.

265. November 11, 2019 Baltimore, Maryland
A 19-year-old student who was outside Reginald F. Lewis High School was approached by a masked man who shot him in the leg.

November 13, 2019 Los Angeles, California
A man who was carrying a sword was fatally shot by a deputy at the courtyard of Esteban Torres High School.

266. November 14, 2019 Santa Clarita, California
Saugus High School shooting: Five people were injured, two fatally, in a shooting at a courtyard of Saugus High School. The shooter, a 16-year-old male student, attempted suicide by shooting himself in the head. He was taken into custody and died the next day during hospitalization. The gun used was suspected by police to be a ghost gun.

267. November 15, 2019 Pleasantville, New Jersey
Five men opened fire during a playoff game between the Camden Panthers and the Pleasantville Greyhounds at Pleasantville High School, injuring a 15-year-old boy, a 27-year-old male, and fatally injuring a 10-year-old boy. All five were later arrested for the random act of violence. However, the injured 27-year-old was also charged with unlawful possession of a handgun.

268. November 23, 2019 Union City, California
Two boys, aged 11 and 14 years old, were shot in the parking lot of the Searles Elementary School around 1 a.m., while sitting in a minivan. Both boys died of their wounds, one at the scene and the other at the hospital.18-year-old Jason Cornejo of Castro Valley and a 17-year-old juvenile from Hayward were arrested on February 14, 2020. The shooing had possible gang motivations.

269. December 2, 2019 Waukesha, Wisconsin
A 17-year-old male student who brought a handgun to Waukesha South High School was shot by a police officer after pointing his gun at him and was in stable condition. The gun was later determined to be a pellet gun.

270. December 3, 2019 Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Grant Fuhrman, a 16-year-old male student at Oshkosh High School, was shot by resource officer Mike Wissink after stabbing him with a barbecue fork and was in stable condition. Fuhrman was charged.

271. December 4, 2019 Jackson, Mississippi
An individual who was not a student was shot at the edge of campus by a shooter driving a Honda Accord. This resulted in a campus lockdown. One person was injured and transported to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

272. December 16, 2019 New Haven, Connecticut
A man dropping off his child at the Catholic Academy of New Haven was shot and wounded, and 7 of 10 bullets that were fired in the incident struck the school building. A bullet tore into the walls of a pre-school classroom; no children were hurt.

273. December 19, 2019 Naples, Florida
A 28-year-old woman was shot and killed at Lely High School, and her shooter, 50-year-old Jose Alfredo Avila Pena, who was in a relationship with the victim, was charged with second-degree murder. The principal of the school said the shooting was the result of a domestic violence incident.

274. January 8, 2020 Belle Glade, Florida
An individual who was not a student accidentally shot himself in the leg in the parking lot of Glades Central High School.

275. January 11, 2020 Dallas, Texas
A 15-year-old was arrested after two people were wounded by gunfire during a fight at a high school basketball game between South Oak Cliff and Kimball High School. An 18-year-old man was badly wounded in the shooting, and a Dallas ISD police officer was grazed by a bullet fragment. The 15-year-old suspect, who turned himself in at Dallas police headquarters, was initially charged with aggravated assault; however, after the 18-year-old student died from his injuries, the suspect was charged with murder.

276. January 14, 2020 Bellaire, Texas
A 19-year-old student was shot in the chest and killed at Bellaire High School. A 16-year-old student was arrested and charged with manslaughter.

277. January 14, 2020 Fort Worth, Texas
An adult male and a 10-year-old child were injured at North Crowley Ninth Grade Campus after a youth basketball game.

278. January 23, 2020 Oxnard, California
A stray bullet fired during a street altercation struck a 9-year-old student at McAuliffe Elementary School.

279. February 3, 2020 Commerce, Texas
Jacques Dshawn Smith, 21, gained access to Pride Rock residence hall at Texas A&M University–Commerce, where he was suspected of shooting his ex-girlfriend Abbaney Matts, 20, and her sister Deja Matts, 19, to death. Abbaney's two-year-old son was also injured during the shooting.

280. September 16, 2020 Sonora, California
At Sonora High School in downtown Sonora, a student named Eric Aguiar, 17, was shot and killed in the high school's parking lot.

281. September 16, 2020 Macomb, Illinois
Kavion Poplous, 18, was arrested and charged with attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery, and aggravated discharge of a firearm in the shooting of a student in a dorm at Western Illinois University.

282. February 26, 2021 New Orleans, Louisiana
A New Orleans Police officer was shot and killed after trying to break up a fight at a high school basketball game at George Washington Carver High School.

283. March 01, 2021 Pine Bluff, Arkansas
A 15-year-old student was killed in a targeted shooting at Watson Chapel Junior High School.

284. April 12, 2021 Knoxville, Tennessee
A student armed with a handgun was shot and killed after a confrontation with a police officer at Austin-East High School. One officer was shot but survived.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts