What To Know Today

A mass shooting at a Tennessee grocery left 12 people injured, one dead. A man armed with an unidentified gun walked into a Kroger store yesterday afternoon and opened fire, killing one person and injuring 12, police officials and witnesses said. “It’s with a broken heart that I have to stand before you today,” Collierville Police Chief Dale Lane said at a news conference. He called the shooting the “the most horrific event that’s occurred in Collierville history.” The gunman died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, but police were still investigating the precise circumstances surrounding the shooting. “We found people hiding in freezers and in locked offices. They were doing what they had been trained to do. Run, hide, fight,” Lane added, his voice periodically breaking as he spoke about the shooting in the context of a national epidemic. “I hate that we had to do it here.” Yesterday’s incident was the 517th mass shooting of the year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which classifies such incidents as four or more people injured or killed. 

Federal court will not rehear case that would force ATF to hand over crime gun data. In 2017, my colleague Alain Stephens, then an investigative fellow at Reveal, filed a public records request asking the bureau how many guns once owned by police departments had been found at crime scenes. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobbaco, Firearms and Explosives refused, much as it has rejected similar inquiries since the 2003 enactment of the Tiahrt Amendment, an NRA-backed measure that bars the bureau from releasing gun trace data to the public. Citing an exemption to the law, lawyers for Reveal sued the ATF to compel it to turn over the data. In December, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Reveal’s favor, opening the door to information that could provide a new understanding of gun violence and trafficking. Yesterday, the same court denied a request from the Justice Department asking the full panel of the court to rehear the case. The government now has until December 22 to decide whether to appeal the case to the Supreme Court. Alain previously wrote about the case here.

Philadelphia pediatrician: Gun violence against children is overshadowing gains against infant mortality. In an op-ed for The Philadelphia Inquirer, Daniel R. Taylor, medical director of the outpatient center at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, writes about how the two-decade success in fighting infant mortality in the city has been met with an opposite and dispiriting trend of higher fatal gun violence against people under 21. From 2005 to 2019, he writes, there was one homicide of a young person for every 3 to 4 infant deaths. In 2020 and 2021 so far, the ratio has become close to 1 to 1. “As a pediatrician working in the epicenter of infant mortality and homicides in Philadelphia for more than two decades, this trend feels personal and terribly concerning,” he writes. “Both kinds of death are unspeakably tragic. Especially because both usually are entirely preventable.”

Colorado college student arrested with cache of guns after “threats” against campus. Police detained a 24-year-old student at Colorado State Pueblo after he allegedly made threats against university students and staff and had said that he “liked to kill people.” The local Sheriff’s Department began monitoring the student at his on-campus apartment after the alleged threats and arrested him earlier this week, finding numerous loaded guns and close to 1,000 rounds of ammunition in his home and truck. 

Data Point

2,700 — the number of domestic terrorism investigations the FBI is currently conducting, according to bureau director Christopher Wray, up from 1,000 in the spring of 2021. The bureau now has twice the number of personnel working on such cases. [CBS News]