In 2019, the U.S. saw its highest number of mass killings on record — 41.
That's according to a database compiled by The Associated Press in coordination with USA Today and Northeastern University. It has data dating back to the 1970s. Until 2019, 2006 had the highest number of mass killings at 38.
Mass killings are defined as a murder where a perpetrator kills four people in a single event, not including themselves.
Most of the mass killings in 2019 were shootings. The deadliest attack was the shooting at an El Paso Walmart that killed 22 people in August.
Attacks like El Paso sparked a national debate about gun control. As Newsy previously reported, while bills addressing gun violence stalled in Congress, state legislatures moved forward with passing their own gun laws.
Although 2019 saw the most mass killing events, 2017 had more deaths from mass killings. And despite the rise in mass killings, the overall homicide rate dropped in 2019.