There is no official consensus on what constitutes a mass shooting.
In the first weeks of 2023, the United States has gotten no reprieve from its epidemic of mass shootings, whether in public places or inside private homes.
There is no consensus on what constitutes a mass shooting, complicating the efforts of government, nonprofits and news organizations to document the scope of the problem. Different groups define mass shootings differently, depending on circumstances including the number of victims, whether the victims are killed or wounded, and whether the shooting occurs in a public place. The Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit research group that tracks gun violence using police reports, news coverage and other public sources, defines a mass shooting as one in which at least four people were killed or injured.
In 2022, the Gun Violence Archive counted 647 mass shootings. Of those shootings, 21 involved five or more fatalities. The group recorded 692 mass shootings in 2021, with 28 involving four or more fatalities.
As of late January, the Gun Violence Archive has counted 39 mass shootings this year. Six of them involved four or more fatalities. Here is a partial list.
Jan. 23: Half Moon Bay, Calif.
Seven people were fatally shot and one was transported to a hospital with life-threatening injuries after a gunman opened fire at two separate sites. A 67-year-old man who was believed to be a worker at one of the sites was arrested.
Jan. 21: Monterey Park, Calif.
A 72-year-old gunman killed 11 people and wounded at least nine others at a dance hall in a predominantly Asian American community as they celebrated the Lunar New Year. The police were investigating the motives of the gunman, who the police said was found dead a day later from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Jan. 16, 2023: Goshen, Calif.
Two gunmen killed six people, including a 16-year-old mother and her 10-month-old baby, inside a home in what the authorities said was presumed to be a gang-related attack.
Jan. 4: Enoch, Utah
Eight people, all in the same family, were killed inside a home in what the police said was a murder-suicide. The victims included five children, ranging in age from 4 to 17.