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Table 1 Victim and suspect characteristics by homicide type, National Violent Death Reporting System, 2003–2017*

From: Examining differences between mass, multiple, and single-victim homicides to inform prevention: findings from the National Violent Death Reporting System

             Victims        Suspects/Perpetrators**  
  Mass homicide
n(%)
Multiple homicide
n(%)
Single homicide
n(%)
Chi-square p-value Mass homicide
n(%)
Multiple homicide
n(%)
Single homicide
n(%)
Chi-square p-value
Total*** 728 7,112 74,623   154 3,651 68,530  
Sex
 Male 351 (48.2) a,b 4,611 (64.8) c 59,351 (79.6) < 0.001 133 (95.0) 3,067 (92.9) c 54,015 (89.7) < 0.001
 Female 377 (51. 8) a,b 2,501 (35.2) c 15,251 (20.4) < 0.001 7 (5) 236 (7.2) c 6,188 (10.3) < 0.001
Age group (years)
 0–10 116 (16.0) a,b 550 (7.8) c 3,470 (4.7) < 0.001 0(.) 0(.) 30 (0.1) N/A
 11-17 74 (10.2) a,b 451 (6.4) c 3,081 (4.1) < 0.001 5 (4.0) 137 (5.0) c 3,115 (6.9) 0.001
 18-24 132 (18.2) 1,596 (22.5) 17,538 (23.5) 0.05 31 (24.6) 868 (32.0) 15,409 (34.2) 0.02
 25-34 131 (18.0) a,b 1,755 (24.7) c 20,096 (27.0) < 0.001 42 (33.3) 857 (31.6) c 12,772 (28.4) 0.003
 35–44 87 (12.0) b 993 (14.0) c 12,540 (16.8) < 0.001 26 (20.6) 450 (16.6) c 6,476 (14.4) 0.002
 45-54 83 (11.4) 788 (11.1) 8,978 (12.1) 0.11 17 (13.5) 261 (9.6) 4,106 (9. 1) 0.20
 55–64 54 (7.4) 506 (7. 1) 5,002 (6.7) 0.43 5 (4.0) 93 (3.4) 1,919 (4.3) 0.11
 65+ 50 (6.9) 459 (6.5) c 3,803 (5. 1) 0.001 0(.) 47 (1.7) c 1,198 (2.7) N/A
Race/Ethnicity
 Non-Hispanic white 407 (55.9) a,b 2,648 (37.2) c 21,943 (29.4) < 0.001 67 (43.5) a,b 1,020 (27.9) c 14,869 (21.7) < 0.001
 Non-Hispanic black 181 (24.9) a,b 3,146 (44.2) c 39,806 (53.3) < 0.001 43 (27.9) a,b 1,456 (39.9) c 29,177 (42.6) < 0.001
 Non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native 13 (1.8) 136 (1.9) 1,571 (2.1) 0.75 2 (1.3) 38 (1.0) 864 (1.3) 0.55
 Non-Hispanic Asian/Pacific Islander 23 (3.2) 167 (2.4) c 1,158 (1.6) < 0.001 6 (3.9) a,b 52 (1.4) c 524 (0.8) < 0.001
 Hispanic*** 98 (13.5) 964 (136) 9,623 (12.9) 0.60 14 (9.1) 315 (8.6) 5,063 (7.4) 0.05
Victim-Suspect Relationship
 Stranger 138 (19.0) a,b 515 (7.2) 4,673 (6.3) < 0.001     
 Acquaintance/friend 98 (13.5) 776 (10.9) c 9,491 (12.7) 0.25     
 Child 74 (10.2) b 483 (6.8) c 2,028 (2.7) < 0.001     
 Other relative/family member 66 (9.1) a,b 339 (4.8) c 2,009 (2.7) < 0.001     
 Spouse/intimate partner 35 (4.8) a,b 530 (7.5) c 7,899 (10.6) < 0.001     
 Other person known to victim 30 (4.1) a 635 (8.9) c 5,209 (7.0) < 0.001     
 Parent 20 (2.8) 310 (4.4) c 1,477 (2.0) < 0.001     
 Other intimate partner involvement 12 (1.7) 88 (1.2) 778 (1.0) 0.32     
 Rival gang member 8 (1.1) 93 (1.3) c 679 (1.0) 0.15     
 Victim was law enforcement officer injured in the line of duty 3 (0.4) 30 (0.4) c 138 (0.2) 0.002     
 Current/former work relationship 0(.) 50 (0.7) c 288 (0.4) N/A     
 Other/Unknown relationship 244 (33.5) 3,263 (45.9) c 39,954 (53.5) < 0.001     
Suspect/Perpetrator Characteristics****
Mental health problem directly related to incident d      13 (10.3) a,b 132 (4.7) c 1,226 (2.2) < 0.001
Type of mental health problem e
 Unspecified psychosis      4 (30 8) b 16 (12.2) 102 (8.3) 0.01
 Unspecified mental illness      3 (23.1) 39 (29.8) 358 (29.2) 0.88
 Bipolar disorder      2 (15.4) 11 (8.4) 95 (7.8) 0.58
 ADHD      2 (15.4) b 3 (2.3) 15 (1.2) 0.01
 Anxiety      2 (15.4) 2 (1.5) 27 (2.2) 0.04
 Schizophrenia spectrum      1 (7.7) 15 (115) 143 (11.7) 0.90
 Depression      0 (0) 18 (13.7) c 66 (5.4) < 0.001
 PTSD      0 (0) 5 (3.8) 33 (2.7) 0.63
 Dementia      0 (0) 1 (0.8) 48 (3.9) 0. 14
 Personality disorder      0 (0) 1 (0.8) 4 (0.3) 0.71
Suicidal thoughts or behaviors d      39 (30. 1) a,b 490 (17.3) c 3,540 (6.4) < 0.001
  1. Abbreviations: PTSD posttraumatic stress disorder ADHD attention deficit hyperactivity disorder N/A not applicable
  2. *All 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are currently funded to participate in NVDRS, but at the time of this study several of the newer states/jurisdictions had not yet completed a data collection cycle and therefore are not included. States and jurisdictions were first funded to participate in NVDRS in different years. Data for this study comes from the following 37 states/jurisdictions: Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, South Carolina, and Virginia (2003–2017); Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin (2004–2017); Kentucky, New Mexico, and Utah (2005–2017); Ohio (2010–2017); Michigan (2014–2017); Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Washington (2015–2017); Hawaii (2015–2016); California, Delaware, West Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico (2017). Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Washington collected data on ≥80% of violent deaths in their state, in accordance with requirements under which these states were funded. Data for California are for violent deaths that occurred in four counties (Los Angeles, Sacramento, Shasta, and Siskiyou)
  3. **Suspect information is reported at the incident level. Percentages are based on the number of incidents with known suspect information: mass (126), multiple (2,826), single (55,468). The following sentence can be used as a guide for interpreting victim-suspect relationship: “The victim is the ____________ of the suspect”. For example, when a parent kills a child, the relationship is “Child” not “Parent” (“The victim is the child of the suspect”). Please note that this sentence is intended to be a general guide. However, some relationships may not be captured by this sentence (e.g., other person known to victim; victim was law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty). The victim-suspect relationship was known for 66% of mass homicide victims, 54% of multiple homicide victims, and 46% of single homicide victims
  4. ***Includes persons of any race
  5. ****Numbers may not sum to total because of missing values
  6. a Statistically significant difference (p < .05) of the prevalence of the characteristic between mass versus multiple homicide
  7. b Statistically significant difference (p < .05) of the prevalence of the characteristic between mass versus single-victim homicide
  8. c Statistically significant difference (p < .05) of the prevalence of the characteristic between multiple versus single-victim homicide
  9. d Applied to any suspect in the incident
  10. e Denominator includes only incidents indicated as directly attributable to mental illness on the part of the suspect. Mental illness categories are not mutually exclusive