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Ten deadliest shootings in US history

  • Author: Kyle Kim
  • Updated: September 29, 2016
  • Published December 15, 2012

Americans are shocked and horrified by shootings like the one that took the lives of 27 at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. on Friday. But in a year with so many horrific shootings, does a gunman opening fire on unarmed people still surprise us?

"As a country, we have been through this too many times," said President Obama after the shooting. "Whether it is an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago, these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods and these children are our children."

Here's a rundown of America's 10 deadliest gun massacres, before Sandy Hook.

RJ SANGOSTI/Pool-Getty Images.

10: Aurora, Colo. (Aug. 20, 2012)

Dead: 12

James Eagan Homes, 24, allegedly set off gas canisters and opened fire during a midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises," killing 12.


8 (tied): Camden, NJ (Sept. 6, 1949)

Dead: 13

In a 20-minute neighborhood stroll, Army veteran Howard Unruh killed 13 people, three of them children. Unruh died in 2009 after 60 years of confinement.

JOE RAEDLE/Getty Images.

8 (tied): Fort Hood, Texas (Nov. 5, 2009)

Dead: 13

Former army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan is accused of killing 13 when he allegedly fired into a group of soldiers planning to be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. US military approved a possible death penalty in the future military trial of Hasan.


7: Binghamton, NY. (April 3, 2009)

Dead: 13 + gunman

Jiverly Wong, 41, entered the front of the immigration services center where he was an ESL student and opened fire, killing 13 and himself. It is still unclear as to why Wong carried out the killings though some suspected he felt degraded due to his poor English skills and difficulty finding good work.


6: Columbine High School (April 20, 1999)

Dead: 13 + 2 gunmen

Perhaps the most widely known US school shooting incident in recent history, teens Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 13 people at Columbine High School in Littleton, CO. Many Americans and media wrongfully concluded the two shooters were social outcasts until the FBI concluded Harris was a psychopath and Klebold, a depressive.

TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images.

5: Edmon, Okla. (Aug. 20, 1986)

Dead: 14 + gunman

Fifteen co-workers were killed, including gunman Patrick Sherrill, 44, who had been expecting to be fired from his job as a letter carrier.

TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images.

4: University of Texas at Austin (Aug. 1, 1966)

Dead: 16 + gunman

Ex-Marine sniper Charles Whitman, 25, killed 16 from an observation deck of a campus tower until police eventually killed him.

TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images.

3: San Ysidro, Calif. (July 18, 1984)

Dead: 21 + gunman

James Oliver Huberty, 41, shot 21 people dead until a police sniper killed the gunman.


2: Killeen, Texas (Oct. 16, 1991)

Dead: 23 + gunman

George Hennard, 35, slammed his truck through the window of Luby's Cafeteria and then proceeded to shoot 23 people before taking his own life.


1: Virginia Tech (April 16, 2007)

Dead: 32 + gunman

Student Seung Hui Cho, 23, went through multiple buildings of the college campus, ultimately killing 32 people before killing himself. Cho was a South Korean native and senior at the time of the shootings and had previously been diagnosed with depression.

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