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Backgrounder: Deadly U.S. mass shootings in past decade

(Xinhua)    11:04, August 21, 2019

WASHINGTON, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- Two U.S. mass shootings over the weekend once again underscore the problem of gun violence plaguing the United States.

Occurring just hours apart this weekend, the two shootings have left at least 29 people dead and over 50 injured.

Six Mexicans were among the people killed in the shooting spree, while another seven Mexicans were among the injured.

The shootings occurred in El Paso, in the U.S. state of Texas, and in Dayton, in the state of Ohio. Authorities are treating the El Paso incident as an act of domestic terrorism, according to U.S. media.

The United States has one of the highest gun-related death tolls in the world due to lax gun control laws.

The following is a chronology of the bloodiest and most notable mass shootings recorded in the United States in a decade:

-- VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia, May 31, 2019: At least 12 people were killed in a mass shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center in the eastern U.S. state of Virginia, according to local police.

-- THOUSAND OAKS, California, Nov. 7, 2018: A former Marine opened fire in a crowded bar popular with college students in Thousand Oaks, a suburb about 64 km northwest of Los Angeles, killing 12 people including a sheriff's deputy.

-- PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania, Oct. 27, 2018: At least 11 people were killed and six others were injured after a gunman opened fire inside a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

-- SANTA FE, Texas, May. 18, 2018: Ten people were killed and another ten wounded when a shooter opened fire inside Santa Fe High School in southeast Houston, Texas.

-- PARKLAND, Florida, Feb. 14, 2018: A former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, opened fire with an assault-style rifle, killing 17 students and educators.

-- SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas, Nov. 5, 2017: A gunman with an AR-15-style rifle barged into the First Baptist Church and killed 26 people, more than half of whom were children.

-- LAS VEGAS, Nevada, Oct. 1, 2017: At least 59 people, including the alleged gunman himself, were killed and more than 500 others wounded when the attacker opened fire, sniper-style, on an open-air music festival in Las Vegas. It was the worst mass shooting attack in U.S. history.

-- FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida, Jan. 6, 2017: Five people died and six others were injured in the shooting inside the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The gunman, Esteban Santiago, then laid down his weapons and surrendered to police.

-- ORLANDO, Florida, June 12, 2016: A security guard wielding an assault-type rifle and a handgun killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando before he was shot dead by police.

-- SAN BERNARDINO, California, Dec. 2, 2015: A couple declaring allegiance to the Islamic State killed 14 people and wounded 17 others at a social services center in San Bernardino City, California. Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik were pursued by police and died in the ensuing shootout.

-- OREGON, Oct. 2, 2015: A gunman killed nine people at a community college in the state of Oregon before committing suicide after being wounded by police.

The gunman, identified by U.S. media as 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer, opened fire at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, about 290 km south of Portland, Oregon's largest city.

-- CHARLESTON, South Carolina, June 17, 2015: A white man opened fire during a prayer meeting inside a historic black church in downtown Charleston, killing nine people in an assault that authorities described as a hate crime. Subsequently, the assailant, Dylann Roof, was sentenced to death in January 2017.

-- CHICAGO, May 26, 2015: Twelve people were killed and more than 40 more wounded in shootings in Chicago during Memorial Day.

-- WACO, Texas, May 17, 2015: Nine people were killed and several wounded after a shootout between rival biker gangs in Waco, Texas, with more gangs threatening to descend on the town after the violence.

-- WASHINGTON, Sept. 17, 2013: A 34-year-old navy contractor employee opened fire inside the building at the Washington Navy Yard that serves as the headquarters of the Naval Sea System Command, killing 12 people before he was shot dead by police.

-- NEWTOWN, Connecticut, Dec. 14, 2012: The Sandy Hook elementary school shooting stunned the nation after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults. The attacker, who killed his mother prior to the rampage, also died in the massacre.

-- OAK CREEK, Wisconsin, Aug. 5, 2012: A white supremacist killed six people in a Sikh temple in Oak Creek before he was wounded by police and turned the gun on himself.

-- AURORA, Colorado, July 20, 2012: Twelve people were killed and 59 others injured at a Batman movie premier, where a lone, heavily armed gunman burst into a packed theater in a suburb 10 miles (16 km) east of Denver. Local police identified the perpetrator as James Holmes, 24, who was given 12 life sentences for each victim, and an additional 3,318 years for those he tried to kill.

-- TUCSON, Arizona, Jan. 9, 2011: A gunman opened fire at a public gathering outside a grocery in Tucson, Arizona, killing six people including a nine-year-old girl and wounding at least 12 others. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot point blank in the head, leaving her critically injured, but she recovered miraculously. The 22-year-old shooter, who was reported to be fixated on Giffords, was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2012.

-- FORT HOOD, Texas, Nov. 6, 2009: U.S. army psychiatrist Major Nidal Hasan opened fire at a military base in Fort Hood, leaving 13 dead and 42 others wounded. He was sentenced to death in 2013.

-- BINGHAMTON, New York, April 4, 2009: A man shot dead 13 people at a civic center in Binghamton, where he had enrolled earlier to study English, before killing himself.

-- CARTHAGE, North Carolina, March 30, 2009: A heavily-armed gunman shot dead seven patients and a nurse in a privately-owned nursing home in North Carolina, intending to kill his estranged wife who worked there. He was given multiple sentences, totalling over 179 years.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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