Gun Violence in 2018

On February 14th, 2018 at 2:21 p.m., Nicholas Cruz opened fire on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Exactly one hour and 20 minutes later, he was detained two miles southwest of the school. In this recent shooting, there were a total of 17 people, staff and students shot dead, and at least 14 injured. As of February 14th, there have been 30 mass shootings in 2018, which averages to almost one shooting every day.

Concerning the recent shooting in Parkland, Florida, there are 17 staff and students confirmed dead, and at least 14 injured. Nicholas Cruz, the 19-year-old boy, suspected to be the shooter, was a student at this high school before he was expelled. As for how the events played out, here is a timetable (Fahrenthold et al.) of what happened:

  • 2:06 pm: Uber picked up Nicholas Cruz, the suspect.
  • 2:18 pm: Cruz texted his friend, saying “Hey yo, whatcha doin?”
  • 2:19 pm: Uber dropped off Cruz at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
  • 2:21 pm: Cruz began firing into classrooms.
  • 2:24 pm: The shooting stopped.
  • 2:28 pm: Cruz dropped his rifle and backpack and exited the building.
  • 2:29 pm: Cruz ran west with the other students who were running.
  • 3:41 pm: Cruz was detained two miles southwest of the school.

He began by walking into the 1200 building, which was called the “freshman building” because many of the classes in that wing were for 9th graders. After the shooting, he was apprehended. At 5-foot-7 and 120 pounds, the police were initially slightly skeptical that Nicholas Cruz was the mass shooter.

Cruz used an AR-15, which is a semi-automatic rifle that Cruz legally owned and used for the shooting. Police say that “it’s bullets don’t just pierce the body. They rip it apart.” (via The Washington Post)

The 17 victims of the shooting between the ages of 14 and 49, were all students and staff of the school. Football coach and security guard Aaron Feis, age 37, stepped in front of the students as shots were being fired. He took multiple bullets and later died. He had a wife and a daughter. Peter Wang, age 15, held the door for his peers to escape instead of running. His cousin Lin Chen, 24, stated, “He could have lived if he didn’t try to help other people. His mom always tells him not to be selfish and help other people” (via Washington Post). Scott Beigel, age 35, was a geography teacher, and while he was unlocking the door to his classroom for his students to get in, he was shot dead. Kelsey Friend, age 16, was a student of Beigel’s, and said, “Superman saves lives, and that’s exactly what Mr. Beigel did.”

Since the beginning of 2018, there have been eight school shootings (Simon). School shooting is classified as the firing of a gun at schools, colleges, or universities, within the premises of their campuses. This includes gang violence, fights, and domestic violence cases, as well as an accidental discharge of a firearm (as long as it was on the grounds of a school, college, or university). The first school shooting of 2018 was on January 20th, in Winston Salem, North Carolina, and the most recent being the Florida shooting on February 14th.

According to the Gun Violence Archives, a non-profit organization which provides accurate information about gun-related violence in the United States, as in 2018 alone, there have been 6,817 gun-related incidents. All of this information is as of February 16th, as is not including any incidents after then.  Of these incidents, there were 1,879 deaths, and 3,256 injuries, resulting in a total of 5,135 people harmed. Of the people harmed, just over 8.5% were children. There have been 30 recorded mass shootings, where a “mass shooting” is determined by the FBI’s definition; “Four or more shot and/or killed in a single event [incident], at the same general time and location, not including the shooter.” This is in 2018 alone. As of February 16th, all of this data is relevant to just the 37 days of 2018 that have passed.