The attack on a Florida high school on Wednesday, is the eighth school shooting to result in injury or death so far this year, and the 18th incident involving gunfire in schools.
The figure is more than double that of the same period last year, according to data from Everytown for Gun Safety, a group which tracks gun violence at schools and universities.
Last year’s figures show that by mid-February there were seven school gunfire incidents, of which two resulted in injuries or fatalities. The total number of school shootings for 2017 stood at 65, according to the group.
Seventeen people were killed when a lone attacker opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. It is the deadliest school shooting this year and the third deadliest in US history. A 19-year-old former student suspected of the attack is being held on 17 counts of premeditated murder.
The Parkland shooting comes less than a month after a 15-year-old boy armed with a handgun opened fire inside a Kentucky high school. Two students were killed and 18 people wounded in the attack on January 23.
While other incidents so far this year have been on a smaller scale, they highlight the prevalence of firearms on school premises. One of these incidents, which involved a 12-year-old girl and left five injured at a Los Angeles Middle school, was described as ‘accidental’ by police.
In two cases, one in Maryland and one in Texas, the attacks appeared to target and injure one victim. In another incident, on January 22, a 14-year-old boy was injured after he was shot outside Gentilly High School in New Orleans, Louisiana. A shooter in a parked pick-up truck fired at a group of students standing in front of the school.
A 32-year-old man died after being shot outside Lincoln High School in Philadelphia on January 31. The school was on lockdown for more than two hours, and no students or staff were injured in the incident.
Meanwhile, a university football player was killed in a shooting at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Police said the victim was shot following an argument.
Among the other incidents recorded by Everytown research for 2018 are eight in which a gun was fired but no-one was hurt. These happened in Texas, California, Washington, Alabama, New York, Minnesota and Michigan.
Two more shootings involved suicide or attempted suicide, with no intent to injure any other parties. Since January 2013, there have been at least 291 school shootings, according to Everytown for Gun Safety.