Unintentional firearm deaths: a comparison of other-inflicted and self-inflicted shootings

Accid Anal Prev. 2010 Jul;42(4):1184-8. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2010.01.008. Epub 2010 Feb 7.


This study compares other-inflicted and self-inflicted unintentional firearm fatalities. Data come from the National Violent Death Reporting System, a new surveillance system from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Data are currently available from 16 states and parts of California for various years 2003-2006. Of the 363 unintentional firearm fatalities, about half (49%) were other-inflicted, ranging from 78% of child (aged 0-14) deaths to 19% of older adult (aged 55+) deaths. In other-inflicted shooting deaths, the shooters were overwhelmingly young (81% under age 25). The shooters in the other-inflicted deaths were primarily friends (43%) or family (47%); brothers were the most common family shooter. To learn how to prevent unintentional injuries, it is critical to have information not only on the victim, but also on the person who inflicted the injury.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Accidents / mortality*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance
  • Risk Factors
  • Self-Injurious Behavior / mortality*
  • Sex Distribution
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Wounds, Gunshot / mortality*
  • Young Adult