Mass shootings in Wisconsin increased to 10 in 2020 from three the year before, while nationally mass shootings jumped nearly 50% during a pandemic with crippling unemployment, violent protests and idle youth.
In 2020, Wisconsin reported 10 mass shootings that killed 11 and injured 42. A year earlier, the state had three mass shootings that killed five and injured 10.
Among Wisconsin's deadliest shootings last year was the Molson Coors shooting Feb. 26, which killed six including the gunman. The state's bloodiest shootings included the shooting at Mayfair mall on Nov. 20, which injured eight.
With COVID-19 cases falling and vaccines rolling out, some criminologists hope a rebounding economy and reopened schools will drive down the national numbers in 2021.
Early results are promising, says Mark Bryant, founder of the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive, which tracks gun incident trends. In the first seven weeks of this year, there have been 63 mass shootings — defined as four or more people injured or killed in one incident — which if continued would show a drop from 2020, he said.
“I’m hoping last year proves to be the anomaly,” said Bryant. “The stresses caused by last year, from jobs to illness, were not just an urban thing or a rural thing. We saw bumps in towns in Louisiana and Mississippi, as well as in Chicago and Philadelphia.”
Other experts warn that reducing mass shootings across the United States will require more than simply putting the pandemic in the rearview mirror.