Mass shootings receive a great deal of coverage in the media, as we saw with the Orlando, Fla., office shootings in November 2009 and in the shootings at the manufacturing plant in Albuquerque, N.M., in July 2010. Out of 421 workplace shootings recorded in 2008 (8 percent of total fatal injuries), 99 (24 percent) occurred in retail trade. Workplace shootings in manufacturing were less common, with 17 shootings reported in 2008. Workplace shooting events account for only a small portion of nonfatal workplace injuries.
Over the past 5 years, 2004-08, an average of 564 work-related homicides occurred each year in the United States. In 2008, a total of 526 workplace homicides occurred, or 10 percent of all fatal work injuries. About 4 out of every 5 homicide victims in 2008 were male. The type of assailants in these cases differed for men and women. Robbers and other assailants made up 72 percent of assailants for men, and 51 percent of assailants for women. Relatives and other personal acquaintances accounted for only 4 percent of assailants of homicides for men, but 28 percent for women.
In 2008 there were 30 multiple-fatality workplace homicide incidents, accounting for 67 homicides and 7 suicides. On average, about two people died in each of these incidents.
Shootings accounted for 80 percent of all homicides in 2008 (421 fatal injuries). Co-workers and former co-workers were the assailants in 12 percent of all shootings. Robbers were the assailants in another 40 percent of cases in 2008. Nearly half of these shootings (48 percent) occurred in public buildings, thereby endangering bystanders.
Sales and related occupations accounted for 26 percent of decedents in shootings. Most shootings occurred in the private sector (86 percent) whereas 14 percent of shootings occurred in government. Of the shootings within the private sector, 88 percent occurred within service-providing industries, mostly in trade, transportation, and utilities.
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