Police in San Bernardino, Calif., said heavily armed gunmen killed 14 people and injured 21 others during a holiday party for county employees. Here's what we know about the mass shooting. (The Washington Post)

At least 14 people are dead and another 14 are injured after gunmen opened fire on a center for people with developmental disabilities in San Bernardino, Calif., on Wednesday. The shooting is the deadliest since 2012, when 20 children and 6 adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut.

The preliminary death toll in San Bernardino is already the 6th highest in modern U.S. history, along with a 1986 shooting in Edmond, Oklahoma, in which a man opened fire at a Post Office. The list of the deadliest shootings on record are shown in the chart below. Many of those with the most severe death tolls have happened in the past decade.

The 12th deadliest shooting occurred in 2013, when a gunman opened fire inside the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C, killing 12 people. Two separate shootings—one in Binghamton, New York, another in Fort Hood, Texas, both in 2009—each claimed the lives of 13 people, sharing the title of eighth  most deadly. The country endured its deadliest shooting in history in 2007, when a senior at Virginia Tech killed 32 people and wounded 17 others.

(It's possible that there were other mass shootings further back in history not captured in these statistics.)

That incident marked the beginning of a new era of more frequent and more lethal mass shootings. Of the 12 deadliest shootings in U.S. history, five occurred after the massacre at Virginia Tech. 


Public health researchers at Harvard University and Northwestern University have confirmed that mass shootings are becoming more frequent, and the San Bernardino shooting is the latest. There have now been 355 this year alone, including all incidents in which at least four people, including the gunman, are wounded by gunfire.

San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan describes a shooting that took place at a center for people with developmental disabilities, killing at least 14 people and injuring 14 others. (Reuters)