Hospital shootings: How common are they? 8 things to know

Multiple incidents of gun violence at or near hospitals have made headlines in recent months. Two individuals reportedly shot themselves at hospitals in West Virginia and New Jersey in January; patients witnessed two men rob and shoot a physician just outside of Orlando-based Florida Primary Care in November; a recently discharged patient shot an officer at Dublin, Ga.-based Fairview Park Hospital in December. But exactly how common are incidents of gun violence at hospitals and other healthcare facilities?

A number of studies, including those by the U.S Bureau of Labor and Statistics and researchers at Providence, R.I.-based Brown University and Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University, examined seemingly isolated instances of gun violence at hospitals and other health facilities in the U.S. from 2000 to 2015.

Here are eight findings from the various studies.

1. Hospital-based shootings are a relatively rare occurrence, with 154 hospital-related shootings — or an average of 14 per year — identified between 2000 and 2011,  according to a study conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins. Of the 154 hospital-related shootings identified, 59 percent — or 91 instances — took place inside hospitals. Forty-one percent — or 63 instances — took place on hospital grounds.

2. Researchers participating in the same study identified the most common perpetrators of hospital shootings were overwhelmingly men (91 percent).

3. The Johns Hopkins study identified the emergency department as the most common site of hospital gun violence (29 percent), followed by the parking lot (23 percent) and patients' rooms (19 percent).

4. Johns Hopkins researchers found the most common victim of shootings in hospitals or other healthcare facilities to be the perpetrator (45 percent). Hospital staff, in total, composed roughly 20 percent of victims. Of the hospital staff victims, nursing staff made up 5 percent of victims, physicians comprised 3 percent, pharmacists made up 2 percent and the remaining non-medical staff, labeled "other," made up 10 percent.

5. According to data released in 2015 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the healthcare industry as a whole witnessed 19 homicides in 2015, 16 of which were committed intentionally by gun violence. The number represents a 46 percent increase from 2014 when the industry experienced seven homicides, all of which were committed intentionally by gun violence.

6. A 2015 study conducted by researchers at Brown University found that of the 241 incidents of hospital shootings from 2000 to 2015, the majority of hospital shootings took place at facilities located in the South (105 shootings), followed by the Midwest (56), the West (42) and the Northeast (38).

7. According to the same study, 33 percent of perpetrators committed hospital shootings because of a grudge, 15 percent did so as a result of social violence, 14 percent did so to escape the facility and 11 percent did so as a result of suicidal tendencies.

8. In instances of hospital shootings, Brown researchers discovered roughly 46 percent of perpetrators committed suicide following the incident, 25 percent were arrested and 16 percent were shot and killed by police.

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