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A May FBI report revealed that U.S. citizens — both armed and unarmed — were instrumental in thwarting active shooter situations in 2016 and 2017.
What's in the report?
According to the report, "The FBI has designated 50 shootings in 2016 and 2017 as active shooter incidents (20 incidents occurred in 2016, while 30 incidents occurred in 2017)." The 50 incidents were spread out over 21 states.
The report noted, "As with past FBI active shooter-related publications, this report does not encompass all gun-related situations."
"Rather, it focuses on a specific type of shooting situation," the report continued.
The agency said that the active shooter situations in question were defined as "one or more individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area."
In eight of those active shooter incidents, citizens "safely and successfully" intervened in the active shooter situation and, according to the FBI's report, changed the outcome for the better.
In four of the situations, citizens who "safely and successfully" intervened in the incidents were armed. In the other four, the citizens were unarmed.
The agency's report said that those "selfless actions" by the citizens who intervened in the attacks "likely saved many lives."
The agency's reported 221 deaths and 722 injuries among all 50 active shooter incidents. And all 50 shooters named in the report were male and had no accomplices — 11 of them were killed by police.
Thirteen of the 50 shooters committed suicide. Eight shooters committed suicide prior to police arriving on the scene, while three killed themselves at the scene after police arrived on the scene.
Two killed themselves elsewhere, according to the report.
"The enhanced threat posed by active shooters and the swiftness with which active shooter incidents unfold support the importance of preparation by law enforcement officers and citizens alike," the report's findings concluded.
Perhaps the most notable case is that of Devin Patrick Kelley, the Sutherland Springs mass killer who took the lives over two dozen churchgoers.
Stephen Willeford was one of two blue-collar heroes — and was armed — responsible for helping to stop Kelley's murdering spree.
Willeford, who was living across the street from the church at the time of the massacre, heard the shots and jumped into action, shooting Kelley twice as he fled the church.
In another instance — this time in South Carolina — an armed volunteer firefighter took it upon himself to subdue a 14-year-old who opened fire while at a school playground. The shooter killed two and injured three others.
A third instance saw an unarmed school employee confront a student, who was armed with a rifle and pistol, and who had been shooting students at a Washington high school. The unarmed employee forced the student to the ground, where he remained subdued until law enforcement arrived.
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