The Top 5 Worst School Massacres in United States History

  Massacre Date Location Number of Victims Perpetrator(s)
(end result of crime)
1 Bath School Bombing May 18, 1927 Bath Township, Michigan 45 killed Andrew Kehoe
(suicide on scene)
2 Virginia Tech Shooting April 16, 2007 Blacksburg, Virginia 33 killed Seung-Hui Cho
(suicide on scene)
3 Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting December 14th, 2012 Newtown Connecticut 26 killed Adam Lanza
(suicide on scene)
4 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting Feb 14th, 2018 Parkland, Florida 17 killed Nikolas Cruz
(arrested by the police)
5 University of Texas Tower Shooting Aug 1, 1966 Austin, Texas 14 killed Charles Whitman
(killed by the police)
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The Most Regrettable of All Statistics

Out of 59 high-profile school shootings from 1980 onwards, a handgun was used in 71% of the shootings (42 cases) as the only or primary weapon, while in 29% (17 cases) a rifle or shotgun was used as the only or primary weapon. (a.)

In 62% of the handgun shootings (26 cases out of 59), the handguns were acquired legally. (a.) In 71% of the long-gun used in school shootings (12 cases out of 59), the guns were acquired legally. (a.)

According to an analysis carried out by the Violence Policy Center (VPC) of the high profile mass shootings (including school shootings) between 1963 and 2001 the shooters involved these killings were as follows: school-aged children, disgruntled employees, lone-wolf assassins, domestic terrorists, jilted lovers, and people solely noted for their utter colorlessness—acting out of a wide range of motives. The one constant factor among them was the use of firearms, usually handguns. According to the VPC The attraction of the handgun to this class of shooter is that it is highly concealable and, in recent incarnations, boasts increased firepower in terms of ammunition capacity and calibre. (a.)

In 2019 there were 14,414 Murders in the United States using firearms. (b.)

Top 5 facts sources:
  1. Violence Policy Center. (2001). Where'd They Get Their Guns: An Analysis of the Firearms Used in High-Profile Shootings, 1963 to 2001. Retrieved, December, 2012.
  2. Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2011). US gun crime statistics, table 20. Retrieved, December, 2012.
Tags: Top 5 Worst, Death Statistics, Crime & Punishment Statistics

Sources:  Top 5 of Anything Research 2021.

List Notes: List is top 5 worst killings at a school or educational institution in the United States. List last updated December 2021. Perpetrators are not included on the list of victims. Please note: presents this unfortunate list in the interest of historical facts only. is completely against the exploitation of these horrible crimes for entertainment or business purposes. We are acutely aware that each victim listed above was a person with a family and friends who deeply feel their tragic and senseless loss.
Worst School Massacres in United States History

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