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Tracking mass shootings in Michigan

Michigan State Shooting Victims
Paul Sancya/AP
Mourners attend a candlelight vigil for Alexandria Verner at the Clawson High School football field in Clawson, Mich., Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023. Verner was among the students killed after a gunman opened fire on the campus of Michigan State University Feb. 13. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Michigan Democrats — who now control all three branches of state government for the first time in four decades — are making gun legislation a priority this year after the tragedy at Michigan State University

A gunman killed three people and critically injured five on February 13. It was Michigan's first mass shooting in 2023.

U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI 7), who represents the area where Michigan State University is, passionately announced her support for action on gun safety by Congress.

“I cannot believe that I’m here again doing this 15 months later [after Oxford]. And I’m filled with rage that we have to have another press conference to talk about our children being killed in their schools. And I would say that you either care about protecting kids or you don’t,” Slotkin said.

As of February 16, there have been 72 mass shootings in 2023 in the U.S.

The Gun Violence Archive is a nonprofit group that has been tracking and fact-checking incidents since 2013. The group defines a mass shooting as “four victims shot, either injured or killed, not including any shooter.”

2023's deaths are outpacing past years. From January to mid-February 2023, 106 people died, compared to the first two complete months of 2022: 82 people died, and 74 people died in January and February 2021.

“This is a uniquely American problem that we need to address,” Governor Gretchen Whitmer said after the Oxford High School shooting in 2021.

At the time, the shooting at Oxford High School was the country's deadliest school gun-related incident since 2018. Four students died and seven others were injured. (Education Week's school gun violence tracker, which only follows deaths, reports that 2020 saw a drop in incidents compared to pre-pandemic levels. It notes the drop is likely due in part to the shift to remote learning.)

The story of a school shooting doesn’t end with a news cycle.

Since Oxford, 110 people have been injured in mass shootings and 25 have been killed in Michigan — and there have been at least 14 mass shootings at or around schools and colleges across the country, including the tragedy at Uvalde where 19 children and two adults were killed.

Nisa Khan joins Michigan Radio as the station’s first full-time data reporter. In that capacity, she will be reporting on data-driven news stories as well as working with other news staff to acquire and analyze data in support of their journalism.
Brad Gowland joined Michigan Radio in 2019 to help with the station's growing digital side, specializing in data collection and digital audio.
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