The U.S. experienced more mass killings in 2019 than any year going back to the 1970s, according to information compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today, and Northeastern University. Specifically, the U.S. experienced 41 mass killings in 2019, defined as when four or more people are killed (excluding the perpetrator). The second-most killings in a year prior to 2019 was 38 in 2006. Most of the incidents in 2019 – 33 in all – were mass shootings. One of the deadliest of these incidents, the mass shooting that occurred in Virginia Beach, Virginia on May 31, claimed the lives of 12 people. All but one of the victims was an employee of the Department of Public Utilities or Department of Public Works. The attack was perpetrated by a city employee, who had resigned earlier that day (WaterISAC has reported on this incident on numerous occasions, most recently for the November 11 Security and Resilience Update following the release of an independent investigator’s report). The research showed that in the majority of the incidents the attackers knew their victims, which included coworkers but also extended to relatives and other associates. And for many of the attacks, what set off the perpetrator remains a mystery, as is largely the case in the Virginia Beach incident. Read the article at the Associated Press.
Given the prevalence of mass killings incidents and the tragic impacts of one of the most recent of these events on the U.S. water and wastewater sector in particular, WaterISAC reminds its members of a series of resources for prevention, response, and recovery. These resources were listed in the June 4 Security and Resilience Update.