Did you know that any shooting incident in which a firearm was discharged at a school infrastructure, including incidents of shootings on a school bus, is tallied as a "school shooting" even though all circumstances are not the same? Whether on the campuses of K-12 public schools or private schools, or colleges and universities, and even if the incident is a person who intentionally shot him or herself in a suicide or suicide attempt, or no one was injured at all, all of these occurrences are classified as "school shootings." When lumped together, it appears as if there is a tremendous number of tragedies.
The earliest known United States shooting to happen on school property was the Pontiac's Rebellion school massacre on July 26, 1764, where four Delaware Indians entered the schoolhouse near present-day Greencastle, Pennsylvania, shot and killed schoolmaster Enoch Brown, and killed 10 children. There were several reported school shootings in each decade of the 1800s between 1850 and 1890, most were disgruntled students (and a few parents) killing the teachers. Interestingly, there were very seldom reports of mass or multiple school shootings during the first three decades of the 20th century— these incidents were again usually more one-on-one between a teacher and a student, and many were outright accidents; the unfortunate and deadly result of children playing with guns or accidental misfires.
The mid- to late-1970s is considered the second most violent period in U.S. school history. There were about two dozen shootings, including the Kent State University incident in Ohio when Armed National Guard Soldiers opened fire on unarmed students who were protesting the Vietnam War. Four people were killed on that college campus that day— May 4, 1970. In the 1980s, a few school shootings were related to sports— a student being kicked off a team for one reason or another, or an altercation during a game. In the 1990s, the number of incidents increased, as did the number of victims involved in an individual shooting. (source: wikipedia.org)
Some of the biggest news stories of the 21st century have been related to school shootings. In February 2000 at Buell Elementary School in Flint, Michigan, 6-year-old Dedrick Owens, the youngest school shooter ever, shot and killed a classmate. So far, in the first 14 years of the 21st century, 195 deaths and many more injuries have occurred as a result of school shootings. The very latest incidents both occurred this month. On June 5, three people were shot inside a hallway in Seattle Pacific University in Washington. One student died. The gunman was tackled by a student as he was reloading his shotgun, and arrested at the scene. The suspected shooter is identified as 26-year-old Aaron Ybarra. Five days later in Troutdale, Oregon, shots were fired at Reynolds High School. A 14-year-old freshman, Emilio Hoffman, was killed, and a physical education teacher was injured. The gunman, 15-year-old Jared Padgett, exchanged gunfire with police officers and then Padgett committed suicide.
When researching this topic, you'll find that most school shooting incidents end with the suspects committing suicide. Most kill themselves on school property immediately after killing or injuring others, but a few perpetrators that have been arrested and sent to prison took their own lives while in jail.