Multiple victims in Maryland shooting

Maryland authorities are responding to a shooting in Harford County involving multiple victims, the Harford County Sheriff's office tweeted.

Posted: Sep 21, 2018 5:40 AM
Updated: Sep 21, 2018 5:40 AM

Data shows that women are rarely behind active shootings, making Thursday's massacre at a drugstore distribution center unusual.

Authorities say a 26-year-old woman shot three people and wounded three more before fatally shooting herself in the Aberdeen, Maryland, facility. Snochia Moseley of Baltimore County was a temporary employee at the Rite Aid support facility who had showed up for work Thursday as scheduled, officials said.

The investigation continues and police are still searching for a motive, but a source close to the investigation said the woman was a disgruntled employee.

The FBI defines an active shooter incident as "an individual engaging in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area." And data from an FBI study and other reports suggest that active shooter incidents involving female shooters are rare.

The last such high-profile incident occurred at YouTube's Northern California headquarters in April, when a woman shot and wounded three people, and then apparently took her own life.

Police said Nasim Najafi Aghdam carried out the massacre because she was upset with YouTube's practices and policies, but she had no connection to the three victims.

What the data tells us

In an FBI list of active shooter incidents in the United States from 2000 to 2017, nine of 250 incidents identified involved female shooters.

The women in those shootings were usually armed with handguns and opened fire inside colleges, businesses, or their current or former workplaces, according to the list.

Thursday's shooting in Maryland may not qualify as a mass shooting or murder since fewer than four people were killed, not including the shooter.

But in general, there are fewer female shooters when it comes to firearm homicides, Adam Lankford, a criminal justice professor at the University of Alabama, told CNN in April. FBI data from 2016 showed that 7.6% of offenders who committed murder were female.

"Research shows that basically males commit more homicides than females, regardless of the subtype of homicide," Lankford said.

There's no one accepted definition for mass shootings. The Gun Violence Archive, which compiles data, defines it as an incident in which an offender shoots or kills four or more people. And the Congressional Research Service defines it as when the perpetrator kills four or more people, selecting victims randomly, and attacks in a public place.

But in those incidents, female mass shooters are rare.

"Men commit the overwhelming majority of mass shootings for basically the same reasons they commit most violent crimes," Dewey G. Cornell, a licensed forensic clinical psychologist and director of the Virginia Youth Violence Project at the University of Virginia, told CNN in April.

"Men tend to be more violent than women because of a complex interaction of evolutionary and psycho-social factors. Men tend to be more aggressive and less inhibited by empathy, and men in distress seem to be less willing to turn to others for help," he wrote.

None of the perpetrators behind the 28 mass attacks in 2017 was female, according to a report by the US Secret Service. A study led by Lankford, published in the journal Violence and Victims, looked at 292 public mass shooters worldwide from 1966 to 2012 and found that only one of those was female.

Why?

There's no single explanation for why women are rarely responsible for active shootings because there's no single profile of a mass shooter, Cornell said.

If anything, the location of the shooting is more telling than the shooter's gender, he said.

"There are several pathways we observe: antisocial individuals who are part of a gang, depressed and despondent persons who are highly distressed over a grievance and believe they have no future, and a small group of persons with severe mental illness that includes delusional thinking," he said.

"In a workplace shooting, you want to look at the latter two as most likely."

Lankford offered a similar assessment when asked why women are rarely mass shooters.

"We can't really answer that question of differences between male and female offenders because we don't have enough female offenders. The problem, or the good news, is we don't have enough female offenders for a statically significant sample."

But there have been cases in which women have carried out deadly mass shootings.

A married couple, Syed Rizwan Farook, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, massacred 14 people at a holiday party in 2015 in San Bernardino, California. Farook had worked with the San Bernardino County health department, which was hosting the party when the attack took place. They were both killed in a shootout with police.

On January 30, 2006, Jennifer San Marco visited her former place of employment, a postal distribution center in Goleta, California, and fatally shot six employees after killing a one-time neighbor. She then killed herself.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 61125

Reported Deaths: 1711
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5209106
DeSoto328027
Madison228154
Rankin212428
Harrison209832
Jackson192934
Jones176557
Forrest163153
Washington148032
Lauderdale132388
Lee123230
Neshoba119487
Lamar111512
Oktibbeha105235
Lowndes97332
Warren96426
Scott95317
Bolivar93932
Copiah90924
Panola90711
Sunflower90622
Lafayette8699
Holmes84347
Leflore83259
Pike82632
Grenada81220
Yazoo77311
Leake76725
Lincoln74339
Wayne73221
Pontotoc7247
Simpson71126
Monroe69750
Coahoma65910
Tate64523
Marion59918
Adams58025
Covington57811
Winston57115
Marshall5668
George5415
Union51913
Newton51611
Attala49524
Tallahatchie49310
Pearl River48236
Walthall44218
Chickasaw43519
Noxubee41710
Claiborne40013
Smith37713
Jasper3758
Calhoun3748
Clay36814
Alcorn3544
Prentiss3376
Hancock32614
Tishomingo3163
Yalobusha31610
Lawrence3135
Itawamba30710
Tippah30412
Clarke29825
Montgomery2913
Humphreys26911
Tunica2656
Carroll24511
Greene22611
Kemper22315
Perry2217
Quitman2211
Amite2105
Jefferson Davis1986
Webster19712
Jefferson1916
Wilkinson18712
Sharkey1801
Stone1483
Choctaw1264
Benton1240
Franklin1142
Issaquena211
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 89927

Reported Deaths: 1580
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson11650225
Mobile8998191
Montgomery6198143
Madison493225
Tuscaloosa391263
Baldwin317522
Shelby300232
Marshall294730
Unassigned263351
Lee249140
Morgan220615
Etowah191425
DeKalb167713
Elmore158437
Calhoun15359
Walker145763
Houston130912
Dallas128023
Russell12201
Franklin118420
Limestone118313
St. Clair118212
Cullman111311
Colbert107612
Lauderdale105312
Autauga101020
Escambia96515
Talladega89013
Jackson8163
Chambers81438
Tallapoosa80478
Dale77619
Butler75135
Blount7223
Covington70420
Coffee7035
Chilton6976
Pike6547
Barbour5625
Lowndes54624
Marion53524
Marengo51514
Clarke4849
Hale44925
Bullock43711
Perry4284
Winston42811
Wilcox4029
Monroe3884
Randolph38810
Conecuh37110
Bibb3643
Pickens3639
Sumter36118
Washington31011
Macon30813
Lawrence3060
Crenshaw2843
Choctaw27312
Henry2433
Greene24011
Cherokee2337
Geneva2260
Clay2165
Lamar1942
Fayette1695
Cleburne1141
Coosa902
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 72°
Columbus
Broken Clouds
69° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 69°
Oxford
Broken Clouds
66° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 66°
Starkville
Overcast
68° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 68°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather