25 Deadliest School Massacres In Human History

Posted by , Updated on November 12, 2021

It seems as if schools have become targets for the most vilest of crimes. Some depraved human beings have taken it upon themselves to make otherwise safe zones into locations of horror, terror, and unimaginable loss. What makes this even more disturbing is the fact that the frequency of school massacres has been consistently on the rise. Harvard researchers found that the rate of this appalling act had actually tripled over the past years. Between 1982 and 2011, mass shootings occurred about every 200 days in the US but after September 2011, the rate of these incidents increased to about once every 64 days. It’s a horrific trend that we are hoping ends soon. These are the 25 Deadliest School Massacres In Human History.


Nanping School Massacre, China (death toll: 8)

Nanping School MassacreSource: en.wikipedia.org, image: pixabay.com

The first of the 2010 Chinese School Attacks, The Nanping School Massacre occurred at Nanping City Experimental Elementary School in the city of Nanping, China, on March 23rd 2010. Zheng Minsheng, who had previously worked as a community doctor, used a knife to kill 8 children and seriously wound 5 others. Minsheng was sentenced to death and executed by shooting.


Mercaz HaRav Massacre, Israel (death toll: 8)

Mercaz HaRav MassacreSource: en.wikipedia.org, image: commons.wikimedia.org

The Mercaz HaRav Massacre was a mass shooting attack that occurred on March 6th 2008 at the Mercaz HaRavyeshiva, a religious school in Jerusalem, Israel. A lone Palestinian gunman shot 8 students and injured 11 more during the attack. The perpetrator was later shot by one of the students and an off-duty Israel defense forces captain who fought back using their personal guns.


Osaka School Massacre, Japan (death toll: 8)

Osaka School MassacreSource: en.wikipedia.org, image: commons.wikimedia.org

The Osaka School Massacre took place on June 8th 2001 at Ikeda Elementary School in the Osaka Prefecture, Japan. In the attack, a 37-year-old former janitor Mamoru Takuma armed with a kitchen knife killed 8 children and seriously wounded 13 other children and 2 teachers. Later diagnosed with numerous mental disorders, Takuma was convicted and sentenced to death by hanging.


Ruzhou School Massacre, China (death toll: 9)

Ruzhou School MassacreSource: en.wikipedia.org, image: flickr.com

The Ruzhou School Massacre occurred at the Number Two High School in Ruzhou, China on November 26th 2004. On that day, Yan Yanming entered the school´s dormitory and stabbed 12 boys, killing 9 of them. Yanming was arrested hours later after he failed to commit suicide because his mother had reported his location to the Ruzhou police. Yanming was sentenced to death and executed.


Red Lake Shootings, USA (death toll: 9)

Red Lake ShootingsSource: en.wikipedia.org, image: pixabay.com

The Red Lake Shootings occurred in two places in Red Lake, Minnesota on March 21st 2005. That morning, 16-year-old Jeffrey Weise killed his grandfather (local police officer) and his grandfather’s girlfriend at their home. After taking his grandfather’s police weapons, he drove to Red Lake Senior High School, where he shot and killed 7 people and wounded 5 others. After the police arrived, Weise exchanged gunfire with them. He was wounded and then committed suicide in a vacant classroom.


Umpqua Community College Shooting, USA (death toll: 9)

Umpqua Community College ShootingSource: en.wikipedia.org, image: commons.wikimedia.org

One of the most recent shootings on the list, the Umpqua Community College shooting occurred on October 1st 2015 at the UCC campus near Roseburg, Oregon. Christopher Harper-Mercer, a 26-year-old enrolled at the school, killed an assistant professor and 8 students in a classroom. Up to 9 others were injured. After a brief shootout with the police, Harper-Mercer was wounded and committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.


Shengshui Kindergarten Attack, China (death toll: 9)

Shengshui Kindergarten AttackSource: en.wikipedia.org, image: www.publicdomainpictures.net

On May 12th 2010, an attacker named Wu Huanming killed 7 children, 2 adults and injured 11 others with a cleaver at a kindergarten in Hanzhong, the Shaanxi Province, China in an incident known as the Shengshui Kindergarten Attack. The attacker, who was the landlord of the school, later committed suicide at his house.


Kauhajoki School Shooting, Finland (death toll: 10)

Kauhajoki School ShootingSource and image: en.wikipedia.org

One of just three school shootings in the history of Finland, the Kauhajoki School Shooting occurred on September 23rd 2008 at the Seinajoki University of Applied Sciences in Western Finland. The gunman, 22-year-old student Matti Juhani Saari, shot and fatally injured 10 people with a gun, before shooting himself in the head. He died a few hours later in Tampere University Hospital. Saari was a second-year student in a Bachelor of Hospitality Management degree program at the university.


Cologne School Massacre, Germany (death toll: 10)

Cologne School MassacreSource: en.wikipedia.org, image: commons.wikimedia.org

The second oldest school massacre on the list, the Cologne School Massacre was a gruesome mass murder that occurred at a Catholic elementary school in Cologne, West Germany on June 11th 1964. The perpetrator, Walter Seifert, attacked the people at the school with a home-made flamethrower and a lance, killing 8 students, 2 teachers, and wounding 22 others. When police arrived at the scene he fled from the school compound and poisoned himself. He was brought to a hospital where he died the same evening.


Shiguan Kindergarten Attack, China (death toll: 12)

Shiguan Kindergarten AttackSource and image: en.wikipedia.org (not the actual kindergarten)

The Shiguan Kindergarten Attack took place at a kindergarten in Shiguan Village in the Henan Province, China on 8 May 2006. On that morning, 18-year-old Bai Ningyang entered one of the kindergarten´s classrooms, forced the whole class to the back of the room and set it on fire. 2 children died at the scene and 10 more succumbed to their wounds at the hospital. After an extensive search operation, Ningyang was found hiding in a cave in nearby mountains and arrested the next day. He was sentenced to death and executed.


Rio de Janeiro School Shooting, Brazil (death toll: 12)

Rio de Janeiro School ShootingSource: en.wikipedia.org, image: pixabay.com

On April 7th 2011, twelve children were killed and twelve others seriously wounded by Wellington Menezes de Oliveira in a killing spree that took place at Tasso da Silveira Municipal School, an elementary school in Rio de Janeiro. Although police found no concrete evidence of religious or political motives, texts found at the perpetrator´s home suggest that he was obsessed with terrorist acts and Islam, which he had earlier converted to.


Azerbaijan State Oil Academy Shooting, Azerbaijan (death toll: 12)

Azerbaijan State Oil Academy ShootingSource: en.wikipedia.org, image: commons.wikimedia.org

The Azerbaijan State Oil Academy Shooting occurred on April 30th 2009 at the Azerbaijan State Oil Academy, a public university in Baku. In the attack, 12 people were killed by an armed assailant and 13 others were wounded. The perpetrator, Farda Gadirov, committed suicide after the attack when he saw the police were approaching him.


Columbine High School Massacre, USA (death toll: 13)

Columbine High School MassacreSource: en.wikipedia.org, image: commons.wikimedia.org

The Columbine High School Massacre occurred on April 20th 1999 at the Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado. In addition to the shootings, the complex planned attack involved a fire bomb to divert firefighters, propane tanks converted to bombs, 99 explosive devices and carbombs. The perpetrators, senior students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, murdered 12 students and 1 teacher. They injured 21 additional people, and 3 more were injured while attempting to escape the school. After the attacks, the pair committed suicide by shooting themselves.


Montreal Massacre, Canada (death toll: 14)

Montreal MassacreSource and image: en.wikipedia.org

Also known as the Ecole Polytechnique Massacre, the Montreal Massacre occurred on December 6th 1989 at the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal, Canada. During the attack, 25-year-old Marc Lépine shot 28 people, killing 14 women, before committing suicide. Claiming that he was “fighting feminism”, he was specifically targeting women to shoot. The incident led to more stringent gun control laws in Canada.


Winnenden School Shooting, Germany (death toll: 15)

Winnenden School ShootingSource: en.wikipedia.org, image: commons.wikimedia.org

On the morning of March 11th 2009, 17-year-old Tim Kretschmer murdered 15 people and injured 9 others in a killing spree at a secondary school in Winnenden, southwestern Germany. Kretschmer, who had graduated from the school one year earlier, had been repeatedly treated for clinical depression. After the attacks, the perpetrator shot himself dead.


University of Texas Massacre, USA (death toll: 15)

University of Texas MassacreSource: en.wikipedia.org, image: de.wikipedia.org

On August 1st 1966, Charles Whitman, former US Marine and engineering student at the University of Texas, killed his wife and mother in their homes and later that day, he brought a number of guns, including rifles, a shotgun, and handguns, to the campus of the University of Texas at Austin where, in just about 90-minute minute period, he killed 15 people and wounded 32 others.


Erfurt Massacre, Germany (death toll: 16)

Erfurt MassacreSource: en.wikipedia.org, image: commons.wikimedia.org

The deadliest school shooting to have ever happen in Germany, the Erfurt massacre was a school shooting incident that occurred on April 26th 2002 at the Gutenberg-Gymnasium in Erfurt, Germany. The gunman, 19-year-old expelled student Robert Steinhauser, shot and killed 16 people: 13 staff members, 2 students, and 1 police officer, before committing suicide. Those two students were killed accidentally, Steinhauser was only targeting teachers and school administrators, probably looking to avenge his expulsion.


Dunblane School Massacre, UK (death toll: 17)

Dunblane School MassacreSource and image: en.wikipedia.org

In the Dunblane School Massacre, gunman Thomas Hamilton (aged 43) killed 16 children and 1 teacher and wounded 15 others at the Dunblane Primary School near Stirling, Scotland on March 13th 1996. After the attack, Hamilton committed suicide by shooting himself. Earlier in Hamilton´s life, there had been several complaints to police regarding his behavior towards young boys who attended youth clubs he directed.


Maalot Massacre, Israel (death toll: 25)

Maalot MassacreSource: en.wikipedia.org, image: commons.wikimedia.org

The Maalot Massacre was a Palestinian terrorist attack that occurred in May 1974. It involved several random killings in the town of Maalot and a mass shooting attack at the Netiv Meir Elementary School. The three attackers took more than 115 people (including 105 children) hostage at the school, eventually ending up killing 25 and inuring 68 of them. All of the terrorists were later killed by Israeli police.


Sandy Hook Shooting, USA (death toll: 27)

Sandy Hook ShootingSource and image: en.wikipedia.org

The second deadliest mass shooting by a single person in U.S. history, the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting occurred on December 14th 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, when 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children (aged between 6 and 7), as well as 6 adult staff members. When first responders arrived at the scene, Lanza committed suicide by shooting himself. Prior to the school shooting, Lanza also killed his mother at their Newtown home.


Virginia Tech Shooting, USA (death toll: 32)

Virginia Tech ShootingSource: en.wikipedia.org, image: commons.wikimedia.org

The deadliest shooting incident by a single gunman in U.S. history and one of the deadliest by a single gunman worldwide, the Virginia Tech Shooting occurred on April 16th 2007 at the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia. During the attack, Seung-Hui Cho, a student of the university who was previously diagnosed with severe anxiety disorder, shot and killed 32 people and wounded 17 others before committing suicide.


Bath School Disaster, USA (death toll: 44)

Bath School DisasterSource: en.wikipedia.org, image: commons.wikimedia.org

The deadliest mass murder to take place at school in U.S. history, the Bath School disaster was a series of violent attacks perpetrated by 55-year-old farmer Andrew Kehoe on May 18th 1927 in Bath Township, Michigan. Kehoe detonated explosions in the Bath Consolidated School, killing 38 children and 6 adults. During rescue efforts, an additional 500 lb (230 kg) of un-exploded dynamite was found, which suggests Kehoe probably intended to blow up the entire school. After the attack, he committed suicide by detonating a final device in his truck.


Peshawar School Massacre, Pakistan (death toll: 141)

Peshawar School MassacreSource and image: en.wikipedia.org

On December 16, 2014, 7 terrorists attacked the Army Public School in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, killing 141 people, including 132 schoolchildren. The terrorists intended to kill as many people as they could but they were shot dead by the Pakistan Army’s Special Services Group who stormed the school soon after the attack began. Later on, Pakistani Taliban (Islamist terrorist group) claimed responsibility for the attack, describing it as revenge for Operation Zarb-e-Azb, the Pakistani military’s offensive in North Waziristan.


Garissa University College Attack, Kenya (death toll: 148)

Garissa University College AttackSource and image: en.wikipedia.org

On April 2nd 2015, four gunmen stormed the Garissa University College in Garissa, Kenya, killing 148 people and injuring 79 or more. The perpetrators took over 700 students hostage, freeing Muslims and killing those who identified as Christians. The siege ended the same day, when all four of the attackers were killed. Few days later, the militant group and Al-Qaeda offshoot, Al-Shabaab took responsibility for the attack.


Beslan Massacre, Russia (death toll: 385)

Beslan MassacreSource and image: en.wikipedia.org

The deadliest school massacre that has ever happened, the Beslan Massacre started on September 1st 2004, lasted 3 days, involved the capture of over 1,100 people as hostages and ended with the death of at least 385 people most of whom were children. During the attack, a group of armed Islamic terrorists (mostly Ingush and Chechen) occupied School Number One in Beslan, North Ossetia, Russia. On the third day of the standoff, Russian security forces stormed the building with the use of tanks, incendiary rockets and other heavy weapons, killing all of the terrorists.

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