Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 48–58 | Cite as

Are Active Shootings Temporally Contagious? An Empirical Assessment

  • Jason KissnerEmail author


“Active Shootings,” which include shootings in public, confined areas such as schools, often traumatize communities and attract intense media coverage. Proposed policy responses to the phenomenon, such as concealing information as to casualty counts and even the identities of shooters, often suppose that active shootings are “contagious,” in that previous occurrences can enhance the likelihood of subsequent occurrences. This study marks the first attempt at assessment of the contagiousness of the active shooting phenomenon, and deploys a statistical model—the series hazard model—that is well-suited to the substantive issue of contagion as well as the fine-grained nature of the active shooting data. Results indicate that the hazard of observed active shootings was a function of the number of active shootings that preceded them in the previous two weeks.


Active Shootings Active Shooters Contagion Series Hazard Model 


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Copyright information

© Society for Police and criminal Psychology 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of CriminologyCalifornia State University, FresnoFresnoUSA

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