As of 4 August 2019, there have been 251 mass shootings in
the United States in 2019, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive, a
nonprofit that tracks incidents in which at least four people—excluding the assailant—were
shot. Over the past two weeks, more than 100 people have been shot in U.S. mass
The latest two attacks occurred over the weekend, with nine
people killed in a historic entertainment district of Dayton, Ohio, and 20
killed at a busy Walmart in El Paso, Texas.
The assailant in the Dayton attack died during the shooting,
and his motive is unclear. Uniformed officers on routine patrol in the
entertainment district responded promptly, shooting and killing the assailant
within one minute of his first gunshots, said Dalton Mayor Nan Whaley.
The alleged assailant in the El Paso attack had posted a
manifesto online about a “Hispanic invasion of Texas,” railing against
immigrants. Federal investigators said they are treating the shooting—which wounded
a further 27 people—as an act of domestic terrorism, meaning the suspect was
allegedly intent on “coercing and intimidating a civilian population.” Prosecutors
said they are considering federal hate crime charges and federal gun charges.
The Walmart had been at capacity, with more than 100
employees and between 1,000 and 3,000 shoppers in the store—many of whom were Mexican nationals who crossed the border to shop—at the time of the
attack. A 21-year-old suspect is in custody, and he told investigators
that he had wanted to shoot as many Mexicans as possible, law enforcement
officers told ABC News.
A recent article in Security Management covered the rise of far-right extremist violence, noting that right-wing terrorists killed
at least 40 people in the United States and Canada in 2018—up from 17 in 2017,
according to a report from the Southern Poverty Law Center.
For more resources on active assailant preparedness, visit
the ASIS International resource page on this topic here. A July 2019 Security Management article focuses on retail preparedness and response for active
In addition, the Department of Homeland Security
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (DHS CISA) issued a resource guide earlier this year for securing soft targets and crowded places.
“We have resources that citizens can use today
to help mitigate threats from an active shooter,” wrote CISA Assistant Director
for Infrastructure Security Brian Harrell in an email to media yesterday. “At
CISA, we have developed assessments, exercises, and training that helps
stakeholders understand the ‘pathways to violence,’ behavioral indicators, and
security mitigation measures to reduce risk.”