What To Know Today

One person was shot as Trump supporters protested the election results in Washington State. Demonstrations near the state Capitol in Olympia on Saturday devolved into skirmishes between heavily armed right- and left-wing factions. During the fighting, a 25-year-old man reportedly aligned with the right-wing faction shot a counter-protester and was subsequently arrested, a State Patrol spokesperson said. Officials have shared few details on the victim’s condition. It was the second shooting at a pro-Trump election protest in Olympia in eight days. Elsewhere:

  • In Washington, D.C., a large contingent of the neo-fascist Proud Boys clashed with counter-protesters and tore down and burned a Black Lives Matter banner from a historic Black church; police made over 30 arrests and said four people were stabbed
  • In Atlanta, protesters — including some armed local militia members — rallied outside the Statehouse.

“What we’re seeing is an escalation, so that instead of people calling each other nasty names and cursing each other out on Twitter or Parler, instead they’re doing it in person while holding weapons,” an extremism expert told The Washington Post, which appended this paraphrased warning to her observation: With the Electoral College set to meet today and President Trump and other Republican officeholders still refusing to accept the results, “the country is at risk of serious armed confrontation in the days to come.”

Between Columbine and Parkland, active shooter incidents resulted in fewer average casualties. The authors of the new study hypothesize that the decreased victim counts could be the result of an improved response by law enforcement and policymakers. For their analysis, the scholars examined gun rampages carried out in public spaces from 2000 to 2017, including attacks leading to fewer than four or more victims, the threshold for qualifying as a mass shooting. Regardless of location, the average number of fatalities in active shootings declined from 2.6 in 2000 to 1.6 in 2017, they found. “While we have seen some of these more extreme events happening in more recent years, a typical event seems to be having slightly fewer people that are injured,” said Texas State University professor J. Pete Blair, the lead researcher. Other takeaways:

  • Incidents in which the victims stopped the attacker were linked to fewer injuries and deaths; those victims were usually unarmed.
  • A perpetrator carrying multiple firearms had a stronger correlation to higher casualties than the type of gun used. Previous research has suggested that higher ammunition magazine capacity can lead to deadlier shootings, regardless of whether a rifle or handgun was used, by extending how many rounds the assailant can fire before reloading. 
  • Active shootings at schools had the lowest average victims, with an estimated one to two fewer people shot than other location types. — Chip Brownlee, investigative fellow 

For the second time in three weeks, a Louisville, Kentucky, protest leader was fatally shot. Kris Smith, 42, was a fixture at the demonstrations held since the police killing of Breonna Taylor this spring. He owned a security business and had recently founded the Louisville Phoenix Initiative, an anti-violence organization for kids. After fellow protest leader Travis Hagdy was killed last month, Smith told The Louisville Courier Journal, “He’s gonna be missed over here, because he was really one of the good ones.” Police say they don’t have a suspect in either case. 

Today is the eighth anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting. Vigils are planned across the state and the government has ordered flags flown at half-staff. “The memories of the 20 young children and six educators whose lives were tragically taken on that horrible morning eight years ago will forever remain in our hearts,” Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont said in a statement. 65,000 teddy bears: A look back at Newtown during the days and weeks after the shooting, when the town bore its own trauma along with the grief of the world. 

“I had no choice but to have a voice”: Black men on the police violence that devastated their families. GQ spoke to the fathers or father figures of five men who have been killed or seriously injured by law enforcement. “You heal yourself,” said Michael Brown Sr., whose son was fatally shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, six years ago, “but then you heal other people.”

Data Point

89 — the number of homicides in Cincinnati as of Saturday, making 2020 the city’s deadliest year on record. [Cincinnati Enquirer]