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Mass Shootings: A Research Guide: Workplace Shootings

Introduction

Like school shootings, workplace shootings constitute another subcategory of mass shootings. In workplace incidents, the shooter is usually a current or former employee who targets co-workers. 

Workplace mass shootings rose to national attention following a string of incidents in the late 1980s to early 90s involving employees of U.S. post offices; the slang term "going postal" had its origins in these incidents. 

Examples

  • The 2016 San Bernardino and 2009 Fort Hood incidents combined elements of both terrorism and workplace violence. In both cases, the shooters expressed sympathy for radical Islamist organizations, but also chose their own co-workers as targets. The Fort Hood incident occurred at the shooter's workplace, and the San Bernardino shooting occurred at a work-related event. 
  • 2006 post office shooting in Goleta, CA, is unusual for involving a lone female shooter; the overwhelming majority of mass shooters are male.

Data