Here is a list of the deadliest single day mass shootings in US history from 1949 to the present.
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. About an hour after firing ceased, he was found dead in his hotel room from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His motive remains unknown.
The Las Vegas attack is the deadliest mass shooting in the US since 1949, surpassing the 2016 attack in Orlando, in which 49 people were killed at the Pulse nightclub.
Paddock was a resident of a retirement community in Mesquite, Nevada. Police found 22 rifles and one handgun inside the hotel room that he had occupied since September 28. The firearms, along with more guns found in his homes, had been purchased in the states of Nevada, California, Texas and Utah. During subsequent investigations, ammonium nitrate, often used in improvised explosive devices, was found in the trunk of his car.
Police believe that Paddock acted alone and have not yet determined his motive
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In April 1999, two seniors at Columbine High School in Colorado, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, fatally shot 12 students and one teacher and wounded 21 others before killing themselves.
In addition to the shootings, the complex and highly planned attack involved a fire bomb to divert firefighters, propane tanks converted to bombs placed in the cafeteria, 99 explosive devices, and carbombs.
Although their precise motives remain unclear, the personal journals of the perpetrators document that they wished their actions to rival the Oklahoma City bombing and other deadly incidents in the United States in the 1990s.
In the 60 days leading up to the shooting, Holmes had purchased four guns from local shops and more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition, police said at the time. All of the weapons and ammunition were purchased legally, police said.
Holmes had bought a ticket to the movie before slipping out and propping an emergency exit open, federal law enforcement sources told ABC News.
About 30 minutes into the movie, Holmes had gathered his weapons and re-entered the movie auditorium through the emergency exit wearing a ballistics helmet, bulletproof vest, bulletproof leggings, a gas mask and gloves.
Holmes then detonated multiple smoke bombs before he unloaded four weapons' full of ammunition into the unsuspecting crowd of hundreds of attendees, police said.
Ten victims died at the scene, while another two died at local hospitals. Among the dead was a 6-year-old girl. Seventy people were injured in the ordeal, police said. Most were injured by gunfire, but a "handful" were injured during the chaos that ensued. One injured victim was hit by gunfire in an adjacent theater.
An Army psychiatrist facing deployment to one of America’s war zones killed 13 people and wounded 30 others on Thursday in a shooting rampage with two handguns at the sprawling Fort Hood Army post in central Texas, military officials said.
It was one of the worst mass shootings ever at a military base in the United States.
The gunman, who was still alive after being shot four times, was identified by law enforcement authorities as Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, 39, who had been in the service since 1995. Major Hasan was about to be deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, said Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Republican of Texas.
Clad in a military uniform and firing an automatic pistol and another weapon, Major Hasan, a balding, chubby-faced man with heavy eyebrows, sprayed bullets inside a crowded medical processing center for soldiers returning from or about to be sent overseas, military officials said.
Hasan was found guilty on all 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder on August 23, 2013, and was sentenced to death on August 28, 2013.
Days after the shooting, reports in the media revealed that a Joint Terrorism Task Force had been aware of a series of e-mails between Hasan and the Yemen-based imam Anwar al-Awlaki, who had been monitored by the NSA as a security threat, and that Hasan's colleagues had been aware of his increasing radicalization for several years. The failure to prevent the shootings led the Defense Department and the FBI to commission investigations, and Congress to hold hearings.
The Washington Navy Yard shooting occurred on September 16, 2013, when a lone gunman–Aaron Alexis–fatally shot 12 people and injured three others in a mass shooting at the headquarters of the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) inside the Washington Navy Yard in SoutheastWashington, D.C. The attack, which took place in the Navy Yard's Building 197, began around 8:20 a.m. EDT and ended when Alexis was killed by police around 9:20 a.m. EDT.
It was the second-deadliest mass murder on a U.S. military base, behind only the 2009 Fort Hood shooting.
A gunman invaded an immigration services center in downtown Binghamton, N.Y., during citizenship classes on Friday and shot 13 people to death and critically wounded 4 others before killing himself in a paroxysm of violence that turned a quiet civic setting into scenes of carnage and chaos.
The killing began around 10:30 a.m. and was over in minutes, witnesses said, but the ordeal lasted up to three hours for those trapped inside the American Civic Association as heavily armed police officers, sheriff’s deputies and state troopers threw up a cordon of firepower outside and waited in a silence of uncertainty.
Finally, officers who had not fired a shot closed in and found a sprawl of bodies in a classroom, 37 terrified survivors cowering in closets and a boiler room and, in an office, the dead gunman, identified as Jiverly Wong, 42, a Vietnamese immigrant who lived in nearby Johnson City.
Two pistols and a satchel of ammunition were found with the body. In what the police took to be evidence of preparation and premeditation, the assailant had driven a borrowed car up against the center’s back door to barricade it against escape, then had walked in the rain around to the front to begin the attack.
What motivated the assault remained a mystery. Binghamton officials said the assailant apparently had ties to the center, which helps immigrants and refugees with counseling, resettlement and other issues.
The Umpqua Community College shooting occurred on October 1, 2015, at the UCC campus near Roseburg, Oregon, United States. Chris Harper-Mercer, a 26-year-old enrolled at the school, fatally shot an assistant professor and eight students in a classroom. Seven to nine others were injured. Roseburg police detectives responding to the incident engaged Harper-Mercer in a brief shootout. After being wounded, he killed himself by shooting himself in the head. The mass shooting was the deadliest in Oregon's modern history.
Following the shooting, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents launched a campus-wide search for explosives. Six firearms were recovered from the crime scene: five handguns and one long gun. The long gun was not fired during the incident. Harper-Mercer also had a flak jacket and "enough ammunition for a prolonged gunfight". Police said they found eight other firearms at his apartment, and that all of the weapons were purchased legally by him or members of his family.
Oregon authorities released a detailed report that included a six-page, typewritten "manifesto" in which the shooter critiqued the methods of other mass killers and said he was a follower of the occult.
In the document, the 26-year-old community college student wrote that he is part of a "demonic Hierarchy" and will become a demon when he dies and return "to kill again and again" after possessing someone else.
He makes it clear that he idolizes other mass shooters and says he has studied their methods but faults them for not killing more people or for not killing police officers. He also paints himself as a "loser," with nothing to live for and no successes in life.
"My whole life has been one lonely enterprise. One loss after another. And here I am, 26, with no friends, no job, no girlfriend, a virgin," he wrote.
"But for people like me there is another world, a darker world that welcomes us. For people like us this (is) all that's left," he wrote. "My success in Hell is assured."
The report details how Harper Mercer singled out one student early in the attack and told him he would survive if he passed an envelope to police when they arrived. It held the thumb drive containing his so-called "manifesto," copies of newspaper articles about other high-profile mass shooters and a report on the killing of children at a Sandy Hook, Connecticut, elementary school.
The Wah Mee massacre was a multiple homicide that occurred on February 18, 1983, in which Kwan Fai "Willie" Mak, Wai-Chiu "Tony" Ng, and Benjamin Ng gunned down fourteen people in the Wah Mee gambling club at the Louisa Hotel in Chinatown-International District, Seattle. Thirteen of their victims lost their lives, but one survived to testify against the three in the high-profile trial. It is the deadliest mass murder in Washington state history.
On February 24, 1983, Benjamin Ng and Willie Mak were charged with thirteen counts of aggravated first-degree murder. The third, Wai-Chiu "Tony" Ng, after years on the run in Canada, is eventually convicted of first-degree robbery and second-degree assault. He is deported to Hong Kong in 2014.
In Camden, New Jersey, 28-year-old Howard Unruh, a veteran of World War II, shoots and kills 13 people as he walks down Camden's 32nd Street.
Unruh,a World War II veteran and pharmacy student, planned the killings for more than a year. A recluse, he was convinced that his neighbors were ridiculing him and plotting against him.
"They have been making derogatory remarks about my character," Unruh told authorities after the attack. What set him off was discovering that someone had stolen his fence gate.
Shortly after 9 a.m. on the day after Labor Day, Unruh, armed with a war souvenir Luger and 33 rounds of ammunition, left the apartment he shared with his mother in their blue-collar neighborhood.
With calm and deadly precision, he carried out his execution plot.
As neighbors screamed and scrambled for cover, Unruh went to the shoe-repair shop and shot the cobbler. Next door, at the barbershop, he killed a 6-year-old boy on a hobbyhorse chair and then the barber. Next was the tailor, but he had left to run an errand, so Unruh shot his bride of six weeks.
Along the way, he shot randomly at people on the street: a man, two women and a 10-year-old boy died.
A tavern owner shot Unruh in the thigh from a second-story window, but Unruh continued walking.
Charles Cohen, in his family's apartment above their drugstore, thought he heard a car backfire. When he looked out the window, Unruh had just shot an insurance salesman.
Minutes later, his parents ran inside the apartment with Unruh close behind. His father, Maurice, leaped from a window onto a porch roof; his mother, Rose, screamed for Charles to hide.
Rose Cohen had angered Unruh for complaining that his radio was too loud. Charles had annoyed him by playing his trumpet.
As Charles hid in one closet and his mother cowered in another, his grandmother, Minne Cohen, 67, tried frantically to call police.
When the shooting ended, Charles emerged to find his 38-year-old mother dead in the closet where she had hidden, his 41-year-old father shot in the back and dead on the street below, and his grandmother fatally shot in the head and chest.
"It's just beyond anything anybody can imagine," Cohen said.
Unruh wounded two more people before returning to his apartment. He surrendered after police pumped tear gas into the building.
He told them he stopped shooting because he ran out of ammunition.
"I would have killed a thousand if I'd had bullets enough," he said.
Unruh was never prosecuted because he was declared mentally unfit to stand trial on 13 counts of murder and three counts of atrocious assault. The indictments were dismissed in 1980 after a judge ruled that he had been denied a speedy trial.
The Charleston church shooting (also known as the Charleston church massacre) was a mass shooting, that took place at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, United States, on the evening of June 17, 2015. During a prayer service, nine people (including the senior pastor, state senator Clementa C. Pinckney) were killed by domestic terrorist Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white supremacist. Three other victims survived. The morning after the attack, police arrested Roof in Shelby, North Carolina. Roof confessed to committing the shooting in hopes of igniting a race war. The shooting targeted one of the United States' oldest black churches, which has long been a site for community organization around civil rights.
Roof was found competent to stand trial in federal court, and in December 2016 was convicted of 33 federal hate crime and murder charges stemming from the shooting. On January 10, 2017, he was sentenced to death. Roof was separately charged with nine counts of murder in the South Carolinastate courts. In April 2017, Roof pleaded guilty to all nine state charges in order to avoid a second death sentence and was sentenced to life imprisonment for each, clearing the way for his eventual federal execution.
Roof espoused racial hatred in both a website manifesto published before the shooting, and a journal written from jail afterwards. Photographs posted on the website showed Roof posing with emblems associated with white supremacy and with photos of the Confederate battle flag. The shooting triggered debate on its modern display, and following the shooting, the South Carolina General Assembly voted to remove the flag from State Capitol grounds.
A mass shooting occurred on October 12, 2011, at the Salon Meritage hair salon in Seal Beach, California. Eight people inside the salon and one person in the parking lot were shot, and only one victim survived. It was the deadliest mass killing in Orange County history.
Scott Evans Dekraai of Huntington Beach, California, was arrested without incident after being stopped while driving a white pickup truck about one half-mile (0.8 km) from the scene of the crime. Dekraai was wearing body armor at the time of his arrest. He who was involved in a custody dispute with his ex-wife who was one of the victims, pleaded guilty to the shooting on May 2, 2014. On September 22, 2017, Dekraai was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the massacre.
The Westroads Mall shooting was a mass shooting that occurred on December 5, 2007, at a Von Maur department store in Westroads Mall in Omaha, Nebraska. The gunman, nineteen-year-old Robert A. Hawkins, killed eight people and wounded four, two of them critically, before committing suicide. It was the deadliest mass murder in Nebraska since the rampage of Charles Starkweather in 1958.
An hour before the rampage, Hawkins' mother gave the Sarpy County Sheriff's Department his suicide note, which read: "I just want to take a few pieces of shit with me... just think tho, I'm gonna be fuckin famous."
Hawkins "just snapped," he said in a suicide note that combines love for his friends and family with contempt for his random victims."I know everyone will remember me as some sort of monster but please understand that I just don't want to be a burden on the ones that I care for my entire life," the 19-year-old wrote.
Hawkins left the note Wednesday at the house where he lived, before he went to the Westroads Mall and opened fire in the Von Maur store, fatally wounding eight people before taking his own life.
The first page of the note was for his friends: "I love all of you so much and I don't want anyone to miss me just think about how much better you are off without me to support."
In the second page, addressed to his family, he wrote, "I've just snapped I can't take this meaningless existence anymore I've been a constant disappointment and that trend would have only continued."
He added, "I love you mommy. I love you dad," and expressed love for several other people.
The third page was his will: "I'm giving my car back to my mom and my friends can have whatever else I leave behind."