National State-by-State Study of Drive-By Shootings Reveals Data on Victims, Time, Location

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Marty Langley, Policy Analyst, 202-822-8200 x109, mlangley@vpc.org

National State-by-State Study of Drive-By Shootings Reveals Data on Victims, Time, Location

WASHINGTON - The Violence Policy Center (VPC) today
released the
second edition of "Drive-By
America,"
a national analysis of drive-by shootings.  The study, the most
comprehensive
analysis of its type, tallied news stories from the 50 states and the
District
of Columbia from July through December 2008 to identify data and trends
associated with drive-by shootings, including the number of incidents by
state,
the number of victims killed and injured, as well as time of day and
location.  Findings of the study (available at http://www.vpc.org/studies/driveby2010.pdf)
include:

o  During the six-month period covered in
the report,
733 drive-by shooting incidents were reported, claiming 154 lives and
injuring
631 individuals.

o  California
led the nation in the number of drive-by shootings with 148 shootings,
killing
40 and injuring 129.  Following California were:  Texas, 60 drive-by
shootings, killing six and injuring 52; Florida, 48 drive-by shootings,
killing
10 and injuring 42; Illinois, 38 drive-by shootings, killing 18 and
injuring
53; and, Washington, 38 drive-by shootings, killing three and injuring
21.

o  Nearly one out of five (18 percent) of
those killed
or injured were under the age of 18.

o  In nearly half (46 percent) of the
incidents, the
victims were at a residence (either indoors or outdoors).

o  Seventeen percent of the incidents
involved shooting
at another vehicle.

o  Forty percent of all drive-by shootings
occurred
between the hours of 7:00 PM and midnight.  A third (33 percent) were
between midnight and 7:00 AM.

o  Drive-by shootings peaked in the month of
August and
then declined as the months turned colder.

VPC Executive Director and study co-author
Josh Sugarmann states, "Drive-by shooting
victims are frequently children or other innocent victims caught in
gunfire
apparently intended for someone else.  Our analysis represents the
absolute
floor as far as the number of drive-bys that occur each day.  The actual
number of incidents and victims is most likely far higher"

Stating that "additional research on the
national
level collecting and analyzing data on drive-by shootings is necessary
to
identify effective prevention strategies," the VPC analysis offers the
following recommendations: 

o  The feasibility of adding drive-by
shooting as a
category to the Uniform Crime Reports should be explored. 

o  Communities that experience a significant
number of
drive-by shootings should consider establishing their own data
collection
mechanism.

o  Drive-by shootings are just one symptom
of the
increasing lethality of firearms available to the general public.  State
and federal policies should focus on limiting the caliber and capacity
of
firearms marketed to the general public.

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The Violence Policy Center is a national tax-exempt educational organization working for a safer America through research, investigation, analysis, and advocacy. The VPC provides information to policymakers, journalists, organizations, advocates, and the general public.

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