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Widely reported number of school shootings needs to be put into context

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Students released from a lockdown are overcome with emotion following following a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (John McCall/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

A statistic being widely reported in the wake of the Florida school shooting should be put into context.

Many outlets are reporting that Wednesday's horrific events marked the 18th U.S. school shooting so far in this young year. Here's a passage from an Associated Press story Thursday:

It was the nation's deadliest school shooting since a gunman attacked an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, more than five years ago. The overall death toll differs by how such shootings are defined, but Everytown For Gun Safety has tallied 291 school shootings in America since 2013, and this attack makes 18 so far this year.

Certainly, any violence on a school campus is bad. But lumping in a massacre with a noninjury shooting doesn't paint an accurate picture.

Of the 18 shootings this year:

  • Two were mass casualty incidents -- the Florida shooting and one last month in a Kentucky high school.
  • Two were suicides.
  • One involved a man being shot and killed outside of a high school.
  • One involved a college football player being killed after a fight broke out at an on-campus party.
  • Several involved minors being injured in a school shooting.
  • About half of the incidents involved bullets hitting buildings, floors or windows, resulting in no injuries.
  • Two incidents were accidental discharges of a law enforcement or training weapons at schools, resulting in no injury.

Here are more specifics on each incident, in chronological order:

1 -- Jan. 3, 2018 -- St. John’s Michigan -- Lansing Journal and WLIX reported a suicide by a 31-year-old man using a gun outside of a former school location. Police said it happened outside of East Olive Elementary, which has been closed since June 2017. No children or staff at the scene.

2 -- Jan. 4, 2018 -- Seattle -- A gun was fired, and no one was injured. According to the King County sheriff, a bullet came through a window during the school day, shot from outside the building.

3 -- Jan. 10, 2018 -- Sierra Vista, Arizona -- Tucson.com reported a 14-year-old boy committed suicide with a gun in a school bathroom.

4 -- Jan. 10, 2018 -- CBS News reported a bullet hit a building at Cal State San Bernardino. Police believe the shot came from off campus. It hit a window in the arts building, and no one was injured.

5 -- Jan. 10, 2018 -- A gun was fired at Grayson College in Denison, Texas, and no one was injured. KXII reported a bullet from an accidental discharge went through a classroom wall and out a window. A school advisor was showing criminal justice students how to use a firearms simulator when the accidental discharge occurred.

6 -- Jan. 15, 2018 -- A gun was fired, and no one was injured at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas. News-Journal reported a gun was fired in a college dorm parking lot, and a bullet went through a dorm window.

7 -- Jan. 20, 2018 -- A shooting resulted in the death of a Winston-Salem State University football player. Journal Now reported a football player was killed in early hours after a fight broke out at an on-campus party.

8 -- Jan. 22, 2018 -- A shooting resulted in an injury to one student in Italy, Texas. KPRC reported a 15-year-old girl was shot and wounded by another student in the school cafeteria.

9 -- Jan. 22, 2018 -- A shooting in New Orleans resulted in a possible gunshot wound to one student. WWL reported a 14-year-old was treated at a hospital for an abrasion, which was initially thought to be a graze wound. Bullets were reportedly fired from inside of a truck toward students on campus.

10 -- Jan. 23, 2018 -- Two students were killed and 18 were injured when a student opened fire in a Kentucky high school.

11 -- Jan. 25, 2018 -- A gun was fired, but no one was injured in Mobile, Alabama. A 16-year-old boy was charged after he reportedly pointed a gun at administrators and students and then fired the gun into the air outside.

12 -- Jan. 26, 2018 -- A gun was fired, but no one was injured in Dearborn, Michigan. The Detroit Free Press reported outside of a basketball game, shots were fired from a car.

13 -- Jan. 31, 2018 -- A shooting in Philadelphia resulted in one death. A 32-year-old man was shot outside of a high school, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. No students or staff were injured or involved.

14 -- Feb. 1, 2018 -- A gun went off unintentionally, resulting in two injuries to students in Los Angeles. A girl was charged with negligent discharge of a firearm in a school after two students were shot in a middle school.

15 -- Feb. 5, 2018 -- A shooting in Oxon Hill, Maryland, resulted in one injury. WJLA reported the shooting of a 15-year-old male student happened in the school parking lot.

16 -- Feb. 5, 2018 -- A gun was fired in Maplewood, Minnesota, but no one was injured. Twincities.com reported a third-grader pulled the trigger on a school officer’s holstered weapon. The bullet hit the floor.

17 -- Feb. 8, 2018 -- A gun was fired in New York, but no one was injured. ABC7 reported a 17-year-old was arrested after a gun was fired in a high school. A bullet was found in the floor.

18 -- Feb. 14, 2018 -- Police say a 19-year-old former student, equipped with a gas mask, smoke grenades and multiple magazines of ammunition, opened fire with a semi-automatic weapon, killing 17 people and sending hundreds of students fleeing into the streets.