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 6/20/14

NUM

%

TOTAL DFI's (Deadly Force Incidents)

843

 

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

317

37.60%

 

 

 

Total known (generally accepted as known) attack triggers

664

 

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

115

17.32%

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

89

13.40%

Robbery

158

23.80%

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

71

10.69%

Confirmed drug related

16

2.41%

Confirmed mental illness

65

9.79%

Religious Bias (against any form of religion)

44

6.63%

Random and other (including rare triggers)

106

15.96%

 

 

 

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

362

54.52%

 

 

 

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

871

%

Gun

503

57.75%

Knife (or other stabbing weapon)

148

16.99%

Auto

35

4.02%

Explosives (includes Molotov Cocktails)

52

5.97%

Other (poison, beating, hanging, fire, various objects)

133

15.27%

 

 

 

Victim Statistics (not including suicide)

 

 

Total killed and injured

942

 

Killed

409

43.42%

Injured

533

56.58%

Male victims (killed)

256

62.59%

Female victims (killed)

153

37.41%

 

 

 

Aggressor Statistics

 

 

Total known (even if known only by description) aggressors

854

 

Male

784

91.80%

Female

70

8.20%

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

208

24.36%

 

 

 

Incident Statistics

 

 

Occurred inside the building

267

32.05%

Occurred outside on ministry property or activity location 

566

67.95%

Occurred during event

352

41.07%

Occurred in off hours

505

58.93%

Single attacker

490

72.38%

Multiple attackers

187

27.62%

 

 

 

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

50

107

2012

76

139

2013

45

132

2014

46

69

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

521

843

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 

Baptist

195

23.0%

Non-denominational (includes those of unknown affiliation)

170

20.0%

Catholic

126

14.8%

Methodist

62

7.3%

Parachurch organizations

31

3.7%

Lutheran

30

3.5%

Presbyterian

29

3.4%

Episcopal

22

2.6%

Mormon (LDS)

23

2.7%

Church of Christ

20

2.4%

Church of God / COGIC

18

2.1%

Jewish

15

1.8%

Christian Church (the denomination)

14

1.6%

Pentecostal

14

1.6%

Christian Orthodox (Including Greek and others)

11

1.3%

Islamic

10

1.2%

Assembly of God

10

1.2%

Foreign Ethnic houses of Worship in U.S.

9

1.1%

Nazarene

6

0.7%

7th Day Adventist

5

0.6%

Unitarian

4

0.5%

Jehovah's Witness

4

0.5%

Evangelical Free

3

0.4%

Foursquare

3

0.4%

Buddhist

2

0.2%

Scientology

1

0.1%

Other

9

1.1%

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 6/13/14

NUM

%

TOTAL DFI's (Deadly Force Incidents)

840

 

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

315

37.50%

 

 

 

Total known (generally accepted as known) attack triggers

661

 

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

115

17.40%

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

89

13.46%

Robbery

157

23.75%

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

70

10.59%

Confirmed drug related

16

2.42%

Confirmed mental illness

65

9.83%

Religious Bias (against any form of religion)

44

6.66%

Random and other (including rare triggers)

105

15.89%

 

 

 

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

361

54.61%

 

 

 

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

868

%

Gun

502

57.83%

Knife (or other stabbing weapon)

148

17.05%

Auto

35

4.03%

Explosives (includes Molotov Cocktails)

52

5.99%

Other (poison, beating, hanging, fire, various objects)

131

15.09%

 

 

 

Victim Statistics (not including suicide)

 

 

Total killed and injured

940

 

Killed

407

43.30%

Injured

533

56.70%

Male victims (killed)

254

62.41%

Female victims (killed)

153

37.59%

 

 

 

Aggressor Statistics

 

 

Total known (even if known only by description) aggressors

847

 

Male

777

91.74%

Female

70

8.26%

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

199

23.49%

 

 

 

Incident Statistics

 

 

Occurred inside the building

267

32.17%

Occurred outside on ministry property or activity location 

563

67.83%

Occurred during event

343

40.59%

Occurred in off hours

502

59.41%

Single attacker

489

72.55%

Multiple attackers

185

27.45%

 

 

 

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

50

107

2012

76

139

2013

45

132

2014

43

66

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

518

840

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 

Baptist

194

22.9%

Non-denominational (includes those of unknown affiliation)

170

20.1%

Catholic

125

14.8%

Methodist

61

7.2%

Parachurch organizations

31

3.7%

Lutheran

30

3.5%

Presbyterian

29

3.4%

Episcopal

22

2.6%

Mormon (LDS)

23

2.7%

Church of Christ

20

2.4%

Church of God / COGIC

18

2.1%

Jewish

15

1.8%

Christian Church (the denomination)

14

1.7%

Pentecostal

14

1.7%

Christian Orthodox (Including Greek and others)

11

1.3%

Islamic

10

1.2%

Assembly of God

10

1.2%

Foreign Ethnic houses of Worship in U.S.

9

1.1%

Nazarene

6

0.7%

7th Day Adventist

5

0.6%

Unitarian

4

0.5%

Jehovah's Witness

4

0.5%

Evangelical Free

3

0.4%

Foursquare

3

0.4%

Buddhist

2

0.2%

Scientology

1

0.1%

Other

9

1.1%