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Free to Shoot Again

We Obtained Data on 4.3 Million Crimes. Now It’s Yours to Use.

We're making the data available to journalists, researchers, policymakers, and everyone else interested in examining gun violence.

In most major cities in America, shooters who kill someone with a gun have more than a 1 out of 2 chance that their crime will go unpunished. If the victim survives, their chances of getting away with the shooting increase to 2 out of 3.

Every year, hundreds — even thousands — of nonfatal shootings never even get assigned to a detective. The shooters are left free to shoot again.

In January, The Trace and BuzzFeed News published an investigation of the problem: “Shoot Someone In a Major U.S. City, and Odds Are You’ll Get Away With It,” and  “5 Things to Know About Cities’ Failure to Arrest Shooters.”

To do this reporting, we sent public records requests to dozens of the nation’s largest police and sheriff’s departments for detailed data on murders and nonfatal shootings. We asked for information such as victim and suspect names, demographic details, weapon, case status, location, and motive. 

We know the data could be valuable to journalists, researchers, policymakers, and others interested in examining gun violence. So today, we’re making available raw data that we received from 56 agencies, totaling 4.3 million violent crime incidents. Download it here.