Social media shared videos and pictures from the area surrounding Pulse nightclub in Orlando, where a gunman killed at least 50 people and injured dozens of others on Sunday, June 12. (Monica Akhtar/The Washington Post)

Americans are waking up this morning to horrific news out of Orlando, where a gunman opened fire at the Pulse nightclub, leaving 50 people dead (including the gunman) 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 U.S. history, according to a comprehensive database of these incidents compiled by Mother Jones magazine.

 


The 50 fatalities at Pulse are considerably more than the 33 victims killed during the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, or the 28 fatalities in the Newtown, Conn., 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.

According to the Mother Jones database, these shootings are becoming more common.