California Shooting

People pause near wooden hearts representing victims outside Monterey Park City Hall, blocks from the Star Ballroom Dance Studio on Tuesday in Monterey Park, California.

The two men who shot dead 18 people in separate incidents just days apart in California are the latest perpetrators in America’s long history of mass gun violence. But something about these public shootings, and the men held responsible, stands out.

The median age of mass shooters in the United States is 32. Yet the man who is alleged to have shot dead 11 people in Monterey Park on Jan. 21, 2023, before turning the gun on himself was 72 years old – the oldest mass shooter in modern American history, our records show. Meanwhile, the gunman who took the lives of seven more in Half Moon Bay two days later was also older than most — 66, the third-oldest in history.

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