The best security plan is one developed with good and relevant information.

 

The data on this page is only that associated with deadly force incidents and suspicious deaths at churches and ministries in the U.S.. The data is dynamic, but gathered from enough incidents that trends are stabilizing.

 

There is no agenda to prove anything other than the importance of intentional security and safety by every ministry – regardless of size. I record the data as I am able to confirm it, allowing others to reach conclusions on other statistics (such as church shootings, domestic violence in church, church homicides or other details related to developing a church security plan).

 

I am especially grateful to many who have written or met with me regarding their personal experience in some of the stories. Many have sent me stories that I missed along the way. I am grateful for every clarification, correction and revelation provided by all of you. Your information will help make ministries safer everywhere.

If you know of incidents not found, or have personal experiences with any of those stories found in the CHURCH CRIME HISTORY tab, please write me – the more we all know, the better prepared others will be.

Security!? In a church?
Ministry Violence Statistics

Deadly Force Incidents (DFI's) at Faith-Based Organizations in the United States (includes abductions [& attempts], attacks, suspicious deaths, suicides & deadly force intervention / protection)

DATA CURRENT for time period 1/1/1999 through 12/31/2015

NUM

%

TOTAL DFI's (Deadly Force Incidents)

1198

 

NUMBER OF DFI's WHERE THE "ATTACK RESULTED IN DEATH OF OTHERS" (HOMICIDE)

364

30.38%

Total known (generally accepted as known) attack triggers

699

 

Robbery

240

34.33%

Domestic Spillover (Domestic relationship violence that found it's way onto ministry property and resulted in a DFI)

156

22.32%

Personal Conflict (disagreement between 2 or more non-domestic-related people that erupted into a DFI)

124

17.74%

Mental illness

100

14.31%

Gang related (Gang or potential gang related that included drugs are in drugs category). It is reasonable to assume many of the PC & robbery cases were gang-related as well, but are not confirmed

90

12.88%

Religious Bias (against any form of religion)

55

7.87%

Drug related

26

3.72%

Random and other (including rare triggers)

148

21.17%

Number of DFI's occurring based upon the TOP 3 known single issue triggers -- (Domestic Violence, Personal conflict and robbery)

520

74.39%

Total incident weapons known (some attacks had more than one weapon)

1224

%

Gun

703

57.43%

Knife (or other stabbing weapon)

199

16.26%

Auto

61

4.98%

Explosives / Fire (includes bombs, Molotov Cocktails and arson when people were inside)

69

5.64%

Other (poison, beating, hanging, various objects)

192

15.69%

Victim Statistics (not including suicide or attacker KIA)

Total killed and injured

1168

 

Killed

474

40.58%

Injured

694

59.42%

Male victims (killed)

311

65.61%

Female victims (killed)

163

34.39%

Aggressor Statistics

Total known (even if known only by description) aggressors

1222

 

Male

1116

91.33%

Female

106

8.67%

Affiliated (member, past member, employee, volunteer, vendor) with ministry

276

22.59%

Incident Statistics

 

 

Occurred inside the building

357

30.13%

Occurred outside on ministry property or activity location

828

69.87%

Occurred during event

471

40.12%

Occurred in off hours

703

59.88%

Single attacker

694

72.75%

Multiple attackers

260

27.25%

Total deadly force incident stats by year

Year

Total deaths (Homicide, suicide, unsolved suspicious and aggressors killed in action)

Total Incidents

1999

22

10

2000

9

6

2001

4

6

2002

11

9

2003

12

9

2004

3

4

2005

19

10

2006

30

27

2007

39

41

2008

50

64

2009

54

108

2010

51

102

2011

51

107

2012

76

139

2013

45

132

2014

74

176

2015

76

248

TOTAL DEADLY FORCE DEATHS and INCIDENTS SINCE 1/01/1999

626

1198

Where attacks occurred by denomination

While there are many branches of "Baptist" (as 1 example), there has been no attempt to clarify specific branches of that or other major denominations. While the "Church of God" may be different from "COGIC", they are in the same category (as another example). I apologize for any offense some may have with such groupings; the intent is to track the frequency of deadly force incidents at faith-based ministries.

 

 

 

Denominational affiliation (some DFI's affected more than 1 site -- i.e. 7/2/2009, 10/29/2010)

Number of incidents

Percentage

Non-denominational (includes those of unknown affiliation)

266

22.2%

Baptist

261

21.8%

Catholic

174

14.5%

Methodist

89

7.4%

Lutheran

47

3.9%

Presbyterian

39

3.3%

Parachurch organizations

34

2.8%

Church of God / COGIC

32

2.7%

Mormon (LDS)

31

2.6%

Church of Christ

27

2.3%

Episcopal

25

2.1%

Jewish

20

1.7%

Christian Church (the denomination)

20

1.7%

Pentecostal

18

1.5%

Islamic

18

1.5%

Foreign Ethnic houses of Worship in U.S.

16

1.3%

Assembly of God

13

1.1%

Christian Orthodox (Including Greek and others)

12

1.0%

Nazarene

9

0.8%

Unitarian

6

0.5%

7th Day Adventist

5

0.4%

Jehovah's Witness

5

0.4%

Foursquare

4

0.3%

Buddhist

4

0.3%

Evangelical Free

3

0.3%

Scientology

2

0.2%

Other

16

1.3%