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May 2022 has seen 33 mass shootings so far

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The United States was rocked by mass shootings over the weekend that claimed at least 11 lives from coast to coast. All in, data show the U.S. has seen 33 mass shootings since the start of this month to May 15. 

Fox News Digital reviewed the Gun Violence Archives’ data on mass shootings from May 1-15 for the previous five years and found 2021 had the highest number of mass shootings at 37, which is a 12% more compared to 2022.

The Gun Violence Archive defines mass shootings as ones where “4 or more [people are] shot or killed, not including the shooter.” The database, as of Monday morning, shows that so far in the month of May, there have been 33 mass shootings, including the Laguna Woods church shooting and Buffalo grocery store shooting. 

There is no consensus on the definition of “mass shooting,” but it is typically defined as an event where at least four people are injured or killed, not including the gunman, at one location. The FBI does not define “mass shooting,” but previously defined “mass murderer” as a person who kills at least four people in one incident. 

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The tragic mass shootings this month have left communities devastated, including in Buffalo, New York, where 10 people were fatally shot and three others were wounded in a shooting at a grocery store by a self-described White supremacist. 

Police secure an area around a supermarket where several people were killed in a shooting, Saturday, May 14, 2022 in Buffalo, N.Y. Officials said the gunman entered the supermarket with a rifle and opened fire. Investigators believe the man may have been livestreaming the shooting and were looking into whether he had posted a manifesto online (Derek Gee/The Buffalo News via AP)
(Derek Gee/The Buffalo News via AP)

All the victims at Tops Friendly Markets were over the age of 50 except one, and 11 of the victims were Black while two were White. Among those killed was a retired police officer, a security officer for the grocery store, a local food pantry chef, and a deacon of a local church. 

“This is just horrific. It’s tragic. I don’t know what other words to describe it,” Buffalo Police Benevolent Association President John Evans said after hearing retired Buffalo Police officer Aaron Salter was among those killed. 

The suspected shooter was identified as Payton Gendron, 18, of Conklin, New York. Officials said during a press conference Saturday that evidence shows the shooting was racially motivated, citing a roughly 180-page manifesto that the shooter wrote detailing the attack. 

Gendron was taken into custody and charged with first-degree murder. He pleaded not guilty Saturday evening.

In a mass shooting in California, one person was killed and five others were injured after gunshots rang out just before 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. About 40 people were gathered at the Taiwanese Presbyterian Church to eat lunch and meet with a former pastor who was visiting the area for the first time in two years since moving to Taiwan. 

The suspected shooter, identified as 68-year-old David Chou, was apprehended after chruchgoers hogtied him during the attack. 

On Friday night in downtown Milwaukee, multiple shootings unfolded, including a mass shooting where 17 people were injured near the Bucks-Celtics basketball game. 

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All in, there have been 202 mass shootings based on the Gun Violence Archive’s data from Jan. 1 to May 15 this year. That is on par with data from 2021 during the same time period, with 205 mass shootings. 

Data reviewed by Fox News Digital show mass shootings for the entirety of 2020 increased by more than 46% compared to 2019, according to the GVA data, with 417 mass shooting events in 2019 to 611 in 2020. 

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The data follows similar studies on violent crimes increasing in 2020 compared to the year prior. FBI data on murders in 2020, for example, show a nearly 30% spike in murders compared to 2019. Among Black Americans, the number of murders spiked disproportionally at a 32% increase in 2020 compared to 2019. There was a 43% increase in Black murders in 2020 compared to the 10-year prior average, data show. 

Experts have pointed to Ferguson effect following the death of George Floyd that year, the resulting Black Lives Matter and defund the police protests and riots, and the coronavirus upending society in unprecedented ways for the increase in violence in 2020. 

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“Certainly, the protests and riots mid-2020 after the death of George Floyd followed a pattern of spiking violence that we’ve seen following past viral police incidents, such as the deaths of Michael Brown and Freddie Gray. This pattern has been termed the ‘Ferguson Effect’: police pull back while violent crime spikes precipitously,” Hannah Meyers, director of the policing and public safety initiative at the Manhattan Institute, previously told Fox News Digital. 

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