Omar Bustamante

Less than a week after three were killed and nine others injured in a shooting at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood, a wife and husband entered a holiday party in San Bernardino and fatally shot 14 people, bringing the total number of victims who died in mass shootings this year, by one account, to 37.

But what constitutes a "mass" shooting, and whom you might count as a victim, also depends on whom you ask. This is why you might have seen different counts in different publications for the number of mass shootings this year. For example, this popular Reddit user's list puts the count at 353, while the non-profit Gun Violence Archive says there have been 300.


(It's important to note that the Centers for Disease Control stopped tracking gun violence in this country after the NRA nearly convinced Congress to strip the agency of its funding in 1996. President Obama ordered the CDC to resume their research two years ago, after the Newtown shootings, but so far, nothing yet.)

For the purposes of this piece, we stuck to Mother Jones' definition of a mass shooting, the strictest reported guidelines, defining a mass shooting as a shooter taking the lives of "at least" four people in a public location. By this standard, there have been four mass shootings in America in 2015: Charleston, Chattanooga, Roseburg, and San Bernardino. (According to this system, the Colorado Springs shooting would not qualify as a mass shooting.)

What's notable about these four mass shootings this year, Mother Jones national affairs editor Mark Follman wrote in the New York Times, is that these strictly defined shootings "have grown more frequent, and overwhelmingly involve legally obtained firearms."


The following 37 people are the victims of this year's mass shootings, hopefully a final count.

Charleston, SC, June 17

A young white man named Dylann Roof killed nine churchgoers at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church during a Bible study session.


Clementa Pinckey, 41

Cynthia Hurd, 54


Susie Jackson, 87

Ethel Lance, 70


DePayne Middleton-Doctor, 49

Tywanza Sanders, 26


Daniel Simmons, 74

Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, 45


Myra Thompson, 59

Chattanooga, TN, July 16

A man named Mohammad Abdulazeez fatally shot five people; first, at a military recruiting center, and later, at a U.S. Navy Reserve center.


Randall Smith, 26

Carson Holmquist, 25


David Wyatt, 35

Squire (Skip) Wells, 21


Thomas Sullivan, 40

Roseburg, OR, October 1

A man named Christopher Harper-Mercer walked into a Umpqua Community College classroom and killed nine people.


Lucero Alcaraz, 19

Treven Anspach, 20


Rebecka Carnes, 18

Quinn Cooper, 18


Kim Dietz, 59

Lucas Eibel, 18

Jason Johnson, 34


Lawrence Levine, 67

Sarena Moore, 44


San Bernardino, CA, December 1

Fourteen¬†people were killed by a husband and wife‚ÄĒSyed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik‚ÄĒat a holiday party at the Inland Regional Center.

Robert Adams, 40

Bennetta Betbadal, 46

Aurora Godoy, 26


Sierra Clayborn, 27

Shannon Johnson, 45

#SanBernadinoShooting victim Shannon Johnson remembered by friends and family

‚ÄĒ FB Newswire (@fbnewswire) December 4, 2015

Daniel Kaufman, 42


Damian Meins, 58

Tin Nguyen, 31


Nicholas Thalasinos, 52

Yvette Velasco, 27


Michael Wetzel, 37

Isaac Amanios, 60


Harry Bowman, 46

Juan Espinoza, 50


Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.