Graph depicting Breakdown of Intentional, Fatal Shootings
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Sources: FBI   FBI   CDC   Violence Policy Center

Data: Excel

Last updated: August 21, 2015


Breakdown of Intentional, Fatal Shootings

Description: This pie chart shows the distribution of intentional shooting deaths between suicides, murders of acquaintances, murders of strangers, murders of family members and justifiable homicides such as self defense, defense of others, defense of property and the prevention of the commission of a felony. The division of murders based on the relationship between the shooter and the victim is extrapolated from the incidents recorded in the FBI's Supplementary Homicide Reports for which the relationship between the offender and the victim was known. The data comes from 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Discussion: Of the approximately 30,000 intentional firearm killings each year, over 70% are suicides. Suicide rates are much higher in states with high levels of gun ownership than in states with low levels of gun ownership. Numerous studies have found that the ready availability of guns dramatically increases both the number of suicide attempts that are carried through and the fatality of such attempts.

Almost 29% of intentional, fatal shootings are murders. Murders of strangers are relatively rate, constituting only 8% of all intentional, fatal shootings. Slightly over half of murders take place between acquaintances, neighbors or friends. The remaining 4% take place between family members.

Less than 1% of fatal, intentional, shootings are defensive or otherwise justifiable legally. Note that justifiable homicide standards differ by state and that a number of these killings would be classified as murders if they occurred in other states.

Fatal, accidental shootings (not shown here) are also fairly uncommon- approximately twice as common as justifiable shootings.

See more graphs about: Guns  

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