Monday's Navy Yard shooting in Washington, D.C.— which has already left at least 12 dead — is just the latest in a series of massacres that have left Americans mourning in the wake of double-digit death tolls.
Dec. 14, 2012
Death Toll: 28
On the morning of Dec. 14, 2012, a combat-clad Adam Lanza, 20, entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. armed with a semi-automatic, AR-15-style rifle and pistols – all legally purchased and registered to his mother – and shot and killed 26 people – 20 of them children. His mother, Nancy Lanza, was found later at her home. Adam Lanza turned the gun on himself to become the 28th casualty.
At a vigil two days later, President Barack Obama vowed to "use whatever power this office holds" to prevent further massacres.
July, 20, 2012
Death Toll: 12
Moviegoers at the Century 16 multiplex in Aurora Colo. expected to be in for an epic night of action during a midnight screening of the new Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises. The nightmare that unfolded more-closely resembled a villainous escapade from the fictional Gotham City's criminal underground. Police say then 24-year-old James Holmes entered the theater at around 12:40 a.m. and unleashed a barrage of bullets and tear gas, killing 12 people and injuring 70 others.
Police later found his apartment laced with booby traps in what officials described as an effort to divert law enforcement and rescuers away from the theater where the real massacre took place. Holmes is being held without bail and has pleaded not guilty to all 142 charges, including 24 counts of first degree murder.
Fort Hood, Texas
Nov. 5, 2009
Death Toll: 13
Then 39-year-old U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan went on a shooting rampage at the Fort Hood military post in Killeen, Texas on Nov. 5, 2009, killing 13 people and wounding 30 in one of the worst shootings at a U.S. military base. Hasan survived a shootout with law enforcement, though four bullet wounds sustained during the firefight left him paralyzed from the waist down. A long-delayed trial — in which Hasan represented himself — ended in a death penalty sentence in August.
April 16, 2007
Death Toll: 33
Seung-Hui Cho, 23, didn't stop after shooting two students in a dorm room on the Virginia Tech campus at around 7:15 a.m. on April 16, 2007. After changing out of his bloodstained clothes and taking care of a series of errands, he headed to Norris Hall and shot up four different classrooms. Liviu Librescu, a Holocaust surivor and professor of engineering, barricaded the door of his classroom for as long as he could while his students escaped through a window. Cho's eventual suicide, along with the death of 32 others — including Librescu — would make up the most deadly massacre in U.S. history.
"It's impossible to make sense of such violence and suffering. Those whose lives were taken did nothing to deserve their fate," said then-President George W. Bush at a convocation the next day at Virginia Tech.
April 20, 1999
Death Toll: 15
Almost eight years earlier to the day, the high school bloodbath perpetrated by Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, would make the word Columbine forever-synonymous with American tragedy. The high school seniors entered Columbine High School on the morning of April 20, 1999 and embarked on a shooting spree that ended in the school's library when the two ended their own lives after taking 13 others. Twenty-one others were hurt.
The Columbine shooting sparked a serious debate about gun ownership, as well as the influence of popular culture on American youth. Numerous artists, particularly Marilyn Manson, and violent video games became scapegoats for allegedly inciting students to act out like Harris and Klebold.
"I think it's terrible when anyone dies, especially if it is someone you know and love," wrote Manson in a June 24, 1999 op-ed in Rolling Stone. But what is more offensive is that when these tragedies happen, most people don't really care any more than they would about the season finale of Friends of The Real World."