(www.cnn.com) In mass killings, more than one shooter is extremely rare

Mass shootings such as the one Wednesday in San Bernardino, California, often produce initial reports of multiple gunmen, likely owing to the confusion and chaos that immediately follow gunfire. The reality, though, at least in the United States, is that mass killings rarely involve multiple shooters.

Of the 28 deadliest shootings in U.S. history before Wednesday — from Howard Unruh’s 1949 rampage in Camden, New Jersey, to Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer’s killing spree at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, in October — only two have come at the hands of multiple shooters: the February 1983 killings at the Wah Mee gambling and social club in Seattle and the Columbine High School massacre in Littleton, Colorado, in 1999. (…)

Such historical data reinforces the highly unusual nature of the massacre in San Bernardino, where suspects armed with AK-47-type weapons burst into a party hosted by the county health department and fatally shot 14 people, wounding at least 17 others. (…)

The FBI has found that of 160 “active shooter” incidents in the United States between 2000 and 2013 — defined as a situation where law enforcement is responding to a shooting in progress — all but two involved a single shooter.(…)


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