Workplace Shootings Responsible for 290 Deaths in Past Decade

June 22, 2004
A new report released by Handgun-Free America has found that in the last decade (1994-2003), there were 164 workplace shootings in America, with a total of 290 people killed and 161 wounded.

According to the report, from 2002 to 2003, the number of workplace shootings increased from 25 to 45 and the number of victims killed in workplace shootings increased from 33 to 69. More than half (51.8 percent) of those who commit workplace shootings experienced a negative change in employment status, including 23.8 percent who were fired or laid off, and 28 percent who were demoted, suspended or involved with some type of financial dispute with management

In at least 13.4 percent of the cases reviewed, the shooter had a publicly known history of mental health problems, and over 9 percentof the shooters displayed warning signs prior to the shootings warning signs that were subsequently ignored by those who noticed them. The report also found that:

  • Most offenders know their victims
  • 92 percent of offenders are caught or killed almost immediately
  • 56.9 percent of offenders are 40 or older, and 80.3 percent are 30 or older
  • 91.6 percent of workplace shooters are male
  • At least 13.4 percent of the incidents reviewed involved some type of domestic violence as the motive
  • 31.7 percent of workplace shootings occur in a white collar job setting, accounting for 31.4 percent of all workplace shooting deaths
  • 78.5 percent of the guns used in workplace shootings were handguns, and 81.2 percent of those are semiautomatics
  • California and Florida are the most dangerous states when it comes to workplace shootings
About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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