A tally of a mass shooting could be written in countless ways. The term is not a legal one — which means that definitions fluctuate. The Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit that tallies gun violence in the United States, defines a mass shooting as four or more victims shot or killed. Some media outlets use three fatalities as a baseline for a mass shooting; others four. The topic is widely debated. For this timeline, The Times is defining a mass shooting as four or more deaths (which currently leaves the tragic Gilroy, Calif., shooting off the list). What is certain is that these types of shootings — regardless of how they are classified — often play out in a similar way: a gunman, frequently male, frequently working alone or as part of a pair, brings untold grief to the places where people gather: shopping centers and nightclubs and high schools and churches. There is no place that is safe. Aug. 31, 2019: Odessa, Texas, 8 dead A man opened fire on a state trooper during a traffic stop and drove away, shooting more than 20 people in apparently random attacks in the area of Odessa and Midland. He was eventually… Read full this story
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