How Many Mass Shootings Have There Been In 2021?

Two massacres in less than a week have left communities across the country in shock and reignited the debate on gun control. But despite mass shootings being somewhat absent from headlines during the coronavirus pandemic, data shows they were still happening in large numbers.

According to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit group that catalogs gun violence in the U.S., 104 mass shootings have occurred in 29 states plus Washington, D.C. in 2021 so far. Gun Violence Archive defines a mass shooting as four or more people shot or killed in a single incident not including the shooter.

It's a dramatic rise compared to the same date last year—66 mass shootings had taken place by March 23, 2020, the group said in a tweet. The coronavirus lockdowns that transformed life in the U.S. in the months that followed did little to stop mass shootings—611 took place in 2020 overall, the highest number since the Gun Violence Archive started tracking them in 2014.

2021's mass shootings, have killed more than 120 people and injured at least 380 others. Six of those shootings count as mass murders, where four or more people have been killed in a single incident not counting the shooter.

The United States has witnessed 103 mass shootings in 29 different states (and Washington D.C.) in the 82 days of 2021.

By comparison, the country had 66 by this date last year.

— Gun Violence Archive (@GunDeaths) March 23, 2021

On Monday afternoon, a gunman opened fire inside the King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colorado. Ten people were killed, including the first police officer who arrived on the scene.

The suspect, a 21-year-old man from Arvada, Colorado, was treated for injuries and then booked into custody on first-degree murder charges.

The rampage came less than a week after a gunman killed eight people—six of them Asian women—in shootings at three Atlanta area spas, prompting a fierce outcry amid a rise in anti-Asian hate incidents during the pandemic.

But the Gun Violence Archive's data shows that between the Atlanta shootings on March 16 and the King Soopers shooting in Boulder on March 22, eight other mass shootings claimed five lives and left 35 injured.

One, at a diner in Cleveland, Ohio happened hours before the Boulder shooting made national headlines. Two people died and two were injured in that incident.

The latest tragedies have prompted advocates to call for stricter gun laws.

"Today it's a tragedy in Boulder, Colorado. This past weekend it was a house party in Philadelphia. And last week it was an armed attack on Asian American women in the Atlanta area," tweeted Gabrielle Giffords, the former Arizona congesswoman who was wounded in a mass shooting a decade ago.

"It doesn't have to be this way. It's beyond time for our leaders to take action."

Memorial at King Soopers Boulder
Memorials and flowers are left on the fencing surrounding the grocery store the day after a gunman opened fired at a King Sooper's grocery store on March 22, 2021 in Boulder, Colorado. Chet Strange/Getty Images