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Victim Characteristics, Situational Factors, and the Lethality of Urban Gun Violence

NCJ Number
Journal of Interpersonal Violence Volume: 34 Issue: 8 Dated: 2019 Pages: 1633-1656
Date Published
24 pages
The objective of this study was to identify the contextual, social, and individual characteristics that influence lethal outcomes across shootings.

Although most criminological research focuses on differential outcomes for gun violence relative to non-gun violence, this article argues that important information can be obtained by examining shootings in isolation. The study focused on five ways that shooting outcomes varied, i.e., the number of shots fired, the number of times the victim was hit, where the victim was hit, the number of victims that were hit, and whether the shooting resulted in a fatality. Building on the adversary-effects hypothesis and public health research on the impact of gunshot- wound volume and location, the study identified the factors that account for variation across shooting outcomes. The study's analysis of data from the Rochester Shooting Database suggests that both adversary effects and random factors influence shooting outcomes. In addition, the results also reveal that adversary effects are more important during some stages of a shooting than others. The implications of these findings are discussed. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2019