Nearly four dozen people, including at least six children, have been killed (so far) in Texas mass shooting incidents this year.
According to the Gun Violence Archive and ShootingTracker.com, America has averaged more than one mass shooting per day so far in 2015. Twenty-one of those mass shootings (instances where four or more people were killed or injured by gunfire) occurred in Texas. Of the eight deadliest gun violence incidents of the year nationwide, Texas can claim three.
In each incident where a shooter was identified, they were found to be male. Otherwise, the mass shooters are a diverse lot. Very few of these events involved a crazed gunman on a rampage, taking lives indiscriminately — though at least one likely did. Others more typically involved gang or drug conflicts, robberies, and domestic violence. This does not obviate the urgency of gun reform. Quite the opposite — the common denominator of easily accessible firearms underscores the need for action.
January 4: The year in Texas mass shootings got off to an early start when three people were killed and one was wounded in a house in Southeast Dallas. A neighbor speculated that it might have been a drug deal gone wrong and complained about omnipresent gunfire in the neighborhood: “It’s just too close and too many. Just about every night. And it’s high caliber weapons.”
January 19: Two weeks later, a brawl involving an estimated 100 people broke out at a carwash on the east side of San Antonio. Several unknown suspects drove up and began firing multiple rounds into the crowd. Seven people were shot, two fatally.
February 22: A Fort Hood soldier killed his wife and the neighbors with whom she sought shelter from his murderous wrath. The soldier then took his own life. (Sadly, this situation is hardly unusual in the United States: American women are 11 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than are women in other high income countries. And 34 percent of female murder victims in the US are killed by a male intimate partner.)
February 25: Three days later in south Houston, three men were killed and two injured in what police suggested was a robbery of a drug-selling operation. “It was some big guns … pow pow pow, six or seven times,” a witness told KTRK.
March 20: In Lancaster, someone fired shots from a vehicle into a crowd, killing one and injuring six.
March 26: Six days later, four men were shot by three other men near an elementary school in Amarillo.
April 24: A Killeen man allegedly went on a rampage at his apartment building, killing two and injuring three, including his girlfriend. The accused had been arrested on murder, robbery, and firearms charges in the past.
May 3: Two groups got into an argument at a Houston nightclub. Later, as one group drove away, members fired multiple rounds at the other group, standing on the sidewalk. Six were injured.
May 17: Texas’ biggest mass shooting of the year took place outside a Twin Peaks “breastaurant” in Waco, where nine people died and eighteen were wounded in a biker gang battle. You probably heard about this one; it made national headlines and was 2015’s third most deadly mass shooting nationwide.
June 11: A teenager was killed and three were injured in Houston’s Third Ward. Reports described a gunman driving up to a corner and unloading dozens of shots.
July 4: In San Antonio, early in the morning on the holiday, two men were fighting over a woman in a hookah bar when one pulled out a gun and sprayed gunfire, wounding four.
July 17: A man trying to rob a grocery store in West Dallas shot four people, including two store employees.
August 8: A Houston-area man with a history of abusing his former girlfriend allegedly killed her, her husband, and six children in their home. The killer handcuffed the family and shot them execution style. The mother had texted for help, but police arrived too late.
August 16: Six people were shot outside an event center in Fort Worth after an argument at a private party spilled out into the parking lot.
August 20: In the remote border town of La Grulla, a truck was found stuck in the mud with two gunshot-riddled bodies inside. Two wounded men were also found nearby. “We do live in a corridor of human and drug smuggling,” the police assistant chief told KRGV.
August 29: A confrontation that began in a nightclub led to a shootout at Bunny’s Truck Stop outside Tyler. At least 60 shots were fired by at least three people. One died and three were wounded. Police suggested that some of the victims might also be suspects.
October 27: September was Texas’s only month without a shooting that injured four or more people. The streak continued until nearly the end of October, when a man allegedly opened fire with a shotgun on a group of adults, including the mother of his child, at an apartment complex in Fort Worth. Five were wounded.
November 4: A son interrupted his father’s alleged “mercy killing” murder/suicide of himself and his ailing wife in an unusual domestic shooting in northwest Harris County. After his mother was killed, the son struggled with his father, but the gun went off, killing the father and injuring the son and a nurse.
November 15: In something out of a 70s horror movie, a man befriended a group of campers near his home outside Palestine, then later allegedly went into the woods with four of them, shot them, and returned to the campsite to shoot two others. Six people died.
November 22: A man shot four people in a nightclub in Brownsville.
November 25: Three days later, in Southwest Houston, two groups of men who had “an ongoing feud” met in a parking lot and began shooting at each other. One died and three were wounded.
Shooting Tracker’s records cut off in early December, but numbers suggest that we’re due for one or two more mass shootings before the year’s end. Will the next be a domestic murder? A robbery? An attack on an abortion clinic? A gang fight? We’re keeping this post open through the end of the year just in case.
[Featured image: Thomas Hawk/flickr/creative commons]