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

Statistics coming soon to update through January of 2014. Thank you for your patience as we work to make sure all the numbers are right before releasing the final 2013 numbers and starting into 2014

 

Deadly Force Incidents (DFI's) at Faith-Based Organizations in the United States (includes abductions, attacks, suspicious deaths, suicides and deadly force intervention / protection)
DATA CURRENT for time period 1/1/1999 through 12/13/13 NUM %
TOTAL DFI's (Deadly Force Incidents) 768  
NUMBER OF DFI's WHERE THE "ATTACK RESULTED IN DEATH OF OTHERS" (ARDO) 286 37.24%
Total known (generally accepted as known) attack triggers 610  
Domestic Spillover (Domestic relationship violence that found it's way onto ministry property and resulted in a DFI) 103 16.89%
Personal Conflict (disagreement between 2 or more un-domestic-related people that erupted into a deadly force incident) 85 13.93%
Robbery 145 23.77%
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 64 10.49%
Confirmed drug related 12 1.97%
Confirmed mental illness 62 10.16%
Religious Bias (against any form of religion) 42 6.89%
Random and other (including rare triggers) 97 15.90%
Number of DFI's occurring based upon the TOP 3 known single issue triggers -- (Domestic Violence, Personal conflict and robbery) 333 54.59%
Total incident weapons known (some attacks had more than one weapon) 792 %
Gun 461 58.21%
Knife (or other stabbing weapon) 135 17.05%
Auto 30 3.79%
Explosives (includes Molotov Cocktails) 45 5.68%
Other (poison, beating, hanging, fire, various objects) 121 15.28%
Victim Statistics (not including suicide)    
Total killed and injured 868  
Killed 371 42.74%
Injured 497 57.26%
Male victims (killed) 235 63.34%
Female victims (killed) 136 36.66%
Aggressor Statistics    
Total known (even if known only by description) aggressors 769  
Male 705 91.68%
Female 64 8.32%
Affiliated (member, past member, employee, volunteer) with ministry 189 24.58%
Total aggressors (including those without even a description) and their status  907  
Suicide 74 8.16%
KIA 27 2.98%
Arrested  482 53.14%
Unknown or at-large 324 35.72%
Incident Statistics    
Occurred inside the building 250 32.98%
Occurred outside on ministry property or activity location  508 67.02%
Occurred during event 305 40.34%
Occurred in off hours 451 59.66%
Single attacker 446 72.29%
Multiple attackers 171 27.71%
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 10 8
2004 3 4
2005 19 10
2006 30 27
2007 39 41
2008 50 64
2009 54 108
2010 52 102
2011 49 107
2012 76 139
2013 44 127
TOTAL DEADLY FORCE DEATHS and INCIDENTS SINCE 1/01/1999 472 768
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 170 21.9%
Non-denominational (includes those of unknown affiliation) 158 20.3%
Catholic 118 15.2%
Methodist 55 7.1%
Parachurch organizations 30 3.9%
Lutheran 28 3.6%
Presbyterian 27 3.5%
Episcopal 22 2.8%
Mormon (LDS) 21 2.7%
Church of Christ 19 2.4%
Church of God / COGIC 17 2.2%
Jewish 14 1.8%
Christian Church (the denomination) 13 1.7%
Pentecostal 13 1.7%
Islamic 10 1.3%
Christian Orthodox (Including Greek and others) 10 1.3%
Assembly of God 10 1.3%
Foreign Ethnic houses of Worship in U.S. 8 1.0%
Nazarene 5 0.6%
Unitarian 4 0.5%
Jehovah's Witness 4 0.5%
Evangelical Free 3 0.4%
7th Day Adventist 3 0.4%
Foursquare 3 0.4%
Buddhist 2 0.3%
Scientology 1 0.1%
Other 7 0.9%

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

DATA CURRENT for time period 1/1/1999 through 12/13/13

NUM

%

TOTAL DFI's (Deadly Force Incidents)

773

 

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

287

37.13%

 

 

 

Total known (generally accepted as known) attack triggers

611

 

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

103

16.86%

Personal Conflict (disagreement between 2 or more un-domestic-related people that erupted into a deadly force incident)

84

13.75%

Robbery

146

23.90%

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

64

10.47%

Confirmed drug related

12

1.96%

Confirmed mental illness

63

10.31%

Religious Bias (against any form of religion)

42

6.87%

Random and other (including rare triggers)

97

15.88%

 

 

 

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

333

54.50%

 

 

 

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

798

%

Gun

464

58.15%

Knife (or other stabbing weapon)

137

17.17%

Auto

30

3.76%

Explosives (includes Molotov Cocktails)

46

5.76%

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

121

15.16%

 

 

 

Victim Statistics (not including suicide)

 

 

Total killed and injured

870

 

Killed

372

42.76%

Injured

498

57.24%

Male victims (killed)

236

63.44%

Female victims (killed)

136

36.56%

 

 

 

Aggressor Statistics

 

 

Total known (even if known only by description) aggressors

772

 

Male

708

91.71%

Female

64

8.29%

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

190

24.61%

 

 

 

Total aggressors (including those without even a description) and their status 

913

 

Suicide

74

8.11%

KIA

27

2.96%

Arrested 

483

52.90%

Unknown or at-large

329

36.04%

 

 

 

Incident Statistics

 

 

Occurred inside the building

251

32.90%

Occurred outside on ministry property or activity location 

512

67.10%

Occurred during event

306

40.21%

Occurred in off hours

455

59.79%

Single attacker

447

72.10%

Multiple attackers

173

27.90%

 

 

 

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

10

8

2004

3

4

2005

19

10

2006

30

27

2007

39

41

2008

50

64

2009

54

108

2010

52

102

2011

49

107

2012

76

139

2013

45

132

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

473

773

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

170

21.7%

Non-denominational (includes those of unknown affiliation)

159

20.3%

Catholic

118

15.1%

Methodist

55

7.0%

Parachurch organizations

30

3.8%

Lutheran

28

3.6%

Presbyterian

28

3.6%

Episcopal

22

2.8%

Mormon (LDS)

21

2.7%

Church of Christ

20

2.6%

Church of God / COGIC

17

2.2%

Jewish

14

1.8%

Christian Church (the denomination)

13

1.7%

Pentecostal

14

1.8%

Islamic

10

1.3%

Christian Orthodox (Including Greek and others)

10

1.3%

Assembly of God

10

1.3%

Foreign Ethnic houses of Worship in U.S.

8

1.0%

Nazarene

5

0.6%

Unitarian

4

0.5%

Jehovah's Witness

4

0.5%

Evangelical Free

3

0.4%

7th Day Adventist

3

0.4%

Foursquare

3

0.4%

Buddhist

2

0.3%

Scientology

1

0.1%

Other

8

1.0%