Mass shootings in Florida increased to 34 in 2020 from 15 the year before, while nationally mass shootings jumped nearly 50% during a pandemic with crippling unemployment, violent protests and idle youth.
In 2020 Florida reported 34 mass shootings that killed 26 and injured 133. A year earlier, the state had 15 mass shootings that killed 20 and injured 54.
Among Florida’s deadliest shootings last year was one Oct. 16 in Orlando that killed three and injured one. The state’s bloodiest shootings included one Nov. 10 in Tampa that killed one and injured seven.
Jacksonville suffered three shootings with mass casualties in 2020, but only one of the victims died, according to Florida Times-Union records.
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 non-profit 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…