Data from David Riedman, K-12 School Shooting Database.

The FBI recently released a report on active shooter incidents across the United States in 2023. At first glance, it seems comprehensive, but a closer look reveals significant omissions and flaws in their data collection and methodology.

In their report, the FBI identified three “active shooters” at educational institutions, including pre-K, K-12 schools, and higher education. The incidents they included are:

  1. Covenant School in Nashville: A former student fatally shot six students and staff before being killed by police.
  2. Michigan State University: An unaffiliated man shot eight students before walking away and killing himself.
  3. University of Nevada: A disgruntled professor killed three colleagues and wounded three others before being evacuated and then committing ‘suicide by cop.’

While these incidents undoubtedly qualify as active shooter events and merit study, the FBI’s report neglects to include other significant active shooter incidents at K-12 schools. This raises questions about the thoroughness and accuracy of their data collection.

Overlooked Active Shooter Incidents at K-12 Schools in 2023

  1. October 23, 2023: Kennedy Middle School, Germantown, WI
    • A man experiencing a psychological crisis climbed onto the roof of the school while students were inside for sports and evening activities. When confronted by police, he opened fire, leading to a shootout. Students inside heard numerous gunshots and were locked down inside closets and storage rooms for hours. This fits the FBI’s definition of an active shooter.
  2. October 15, 2023: North Kirkwood Middle School, Kirkwood, MO
    • Matthew McCulloch, a St. Louis police officer, threatened attendees at a Halloween ‘trunk-or-treat’ event by firing shots into the air and shouting that everyone would die. He was subdued by attendees and faced multiple charges, including armed criminal action and endangering the welfare of children. This incident also meets the FBI’s criteria for an active shooter.
  3. July 31, 2023: Margolin Hebrew Academy, Memphis, TN
    • An armed man attempted to enter the school but was unable to get inside. Staff and construction workers were present at the time. Despite the lack of casualties, the intent and actions of the perpetrator align with the definition of an active shooter.

The FBI’s definition of an active shooter includes individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area. The abovementioned incidents fit this definition but were inexplicably excluded from the FBI’s report.


The FBI’s report on active shooter incidents is supposed to be a critical resource for understanding and preventing such tragedies. However, excluding significant incidents like those at Kennedy Middle School, North Kirkwood Middle School, and Margolin Hebrew Academy highlights severe shortcomings in their data collection and reporting processes. This raises concerns about potential biases or oversights that may impact public perception and policy decisions.

For more detailed insights and data on school shootings, visit our SITE|SAFETYNET℠ blog/news page. We strive to provide comprehensive and accurate information to help enhance the safety of our educational institutions.

This article is written by Robert Jordan, founder of SITE|SAFETYNET℠, a leading platform dedicated to improving K-12 school safety through real-time assessments and continuous comprehensive active safety solutions.

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