San Jose VTA attack is 18th mass shooting in California this year

ByLindsey Feingold and Alix Martichoux KGO logo
Thursday, May 27, 2021
Newsom calls SJ mass shooting part of 'pandemic of gun violence'
Gov. Gavin Newsom, who arrived in San Jose Wednesday afternoon called the tragedy part of a "pandemic of gun violence."

Wednesday's attack at the VTA rail yard in San Jose is the 18th mass shooting in California this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

It may not be the first, but it is the deadliest so far in 2021. At least nine people are dead, including the gunman.

LATEST: 9 people dead in San Jose VTA rail yard shooting, including gunman

The nonprofit Gun Violence Archive, which collects data on gun violence incidents from law enforcement, media, government and commercial sources, defines a mass shooting as four or more individuals shot or killed in a single event, not including the shooter.

There were 39 total mass shootings recorded in California in 2020 and 49 in 2019.

Mass shootings in the state aren't rare -- the last two both occurred on May 18. There have been seven mass shootings in California this month alone.

From January through May 26, Oakland had four mass shootings, which is the largest number of any city in the state this year. Two teenagers were killed and several others were injured last week in Oakland in a shooting involving a party bus.

There have been 232 mass shootings recorded this year across the country, as of May 26. Nationally, 610 shootings were counted in 2020, compared with 417 in 2019.

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The Archive also counts mass murders, which are defined by the organization as four or more people killed in a single event, not including the shooter. There have been two mass murders in the state this year, including the rail yard shooting. The other incident occurred in Orange County in March, where four people died.

Nationally, there have been 15 mass murders this year. In 2020, there were 21.

ALSO: Officials share emotional reactions to rail yard tragedy

In total, there have been over 17,000 gun violence deaths this year. The total count encompasses all gun related causes of death, including suicides.

According to the Rand Corporation, there currently isn't a standard definition for determining what constitutes a mass shooting, so other sources may vary in mass shooting tallies. The Archive includes some components that other sources may leave out: shootings that involve home invasions, store clerks who stop a robbery and individuals who stop an assault or rape.

Take a look at the latest stories and videos about the mass shooting at the VTA rail yard in San Jose.