Americans woke up Sunday morning to horrific news out of Orlando, Florida, where a gunman opened fire at the Pulse nightclub, killing 50 people and injuring 53 more in what authorities are calling an act of domestic terrorism.
Those figures would make this by far the deadliest mass shooting in American history, according to a comprehensive database of these incidents compiled by Mother Jones magazine.
The 50 fatalities at Pulse nightclub are considerably higher than the 33 victims killed during the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, or in the Newtown school shooting in 2012. The 53 people wounded are also more than the number wounded in any other shooting with the exception of the Aurora theater shooting in 2012, in which 58 were injured.
Little is yet known about the Pulse shooter or his motives, but the shooters in a number of the deadliest mass shootings share some characteristics. All were male, with the exception of Tashfeen Malik, one of the two perpetrators of last year’s mass shooting in San Bernardino. Fifteen of the shooters were white. Fifteen had shown previous signs of mental illness.
All but five had obtained their weapons legally.