Mass shootings like the two in Serbia this week that left more than a dozen people dead are far less common outside the United States, where they occur far more regularly.
The first shooting occurred on Wednesday morning, when a seventh-grade student shot and killed eight children and a security guard at a school in Serbia’s capital, Belgrade. By Thursday night, the authorities were again plunged into chaos after eight people were killed and at least 10 others were injured near the city. A suspect was in custody after an overnight manhunt.
“Something like this has never been recorded in the history of Belgrade schools,” Milan Nedeljkovic, mayor of the city’s Vracar district, said after the first shooting on Wednesday.
Serbs are known to have stockpiles of weapons left over from the Balkan wars of the 1990s, and there have been other mass shootings in the country. In 2013, a veteran of the Balkan wars shot and killed 13 people in a village near Belgrade. In 2007, a man fatally shot nine people in the village of Jabukovac, in eastern Serbia.
But the United States, with its high rate of gun ownership, remains an outlier when it comes to gun violence. From 1966 to 2012, Americans accounted for 31 percent of the attackers in mass shootings worldwide, according to a 2016 study by Adam Lankford, a professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of Alabama. The study found that among countries with more than 10 million people only Yemen had a higher rate of mass shootings per capita.
Researchers who support gun rights have disputed Mr. Lankford’s findings, but he has said that when it comes to cases involving lone gunmen committing random acts of violence, the United States accounts for more than six times its global share, relative to population size.
Here is a list of some recent shootings outside the United States that were carried out by lone gunmen.
Northeastern Thailand, 2022
A police officer who had recently been fired killed 36 people, including 24 children, at a government-run day care facility, the deadliest shooting by a sole perpetrator in Thailand’s history. The gunman then fatally shot himself at his home.
Nova Scotia, Canada, 2020
In the worst mass shooting in Canada’s history, a gunman killed 22 people in a rural community in Nova Scotia. The massacre began in Portapique, a village of about 100 residents on the Bay of Fundy, and ended more than 13 hours later at a gas station in Enfield, 55 miles away, with the gunman shot dead by the police. Two weeks after the shooting, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced a ban on military-style assault weapons.
Korat, Thailand, 2020
A gunman killed 29 people in the city of Korat, northeast of Bangkok. After 18 hours, the police shot him dead as he hid in a seven-story shopping mall.
Christchurch, New Zealand, 2019
Fifty-one Muslims were killed at two mosques, in a massacre that the gunman broadcast live on the internet after publishing a white supremacist manifesto online. In 2021, a judge sentenced the gunman, an Australian, to life in prison without any chance of parole. He was the first criminal in New Zealand to receive such a sentence.
A lone political extremist bombed a government center in Oslo before heading to an island summer camp for young members of the governing Labor Party, where he shot 69 people. In total, 77 people were killed in the two attacks.
Cora Engelbrecht contributed reporting.