FBI Reports No Deaths at Sandy Hook-Fiction!

FBI Reports No Deaths at Sandy Hook-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

Viral reports claim an FBI report that found there were no murders in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012 proves the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax.

The Truth:

It’s not true that the FBI reported nobody was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

An FBI report on active shooters and mass casualty situations that was released in September 2013 states that 26 people were killed and two were wounded in the Sandy Hook shooting. 

The claim that the FBI reported “no deaths at Sandy Hook” started with a blog posted at on September 24, 2014. The post includes a link to state-by-state crime data released by the FBI for 2012 that shows zero deaths in Newtown that year.

The eRumor was likely inspired by a USA Today report on September 10, 2014, that was critical of the FBI’s spotty record of tracking mass casualties and mass shootings. A review found that the FBI only has a 57 percent accuracy rate when recording the killing of more than four people in a single event.

The FBI’s current system can only track data on up to 11 victims per incident, which means large-scale killings like the one that unfolded on Virginia Tech’s campus in Blacksburg, Virginia, in 2007 had to be broken up into multiple records. FBI crime data for 2007 doesn’t reflect those 32 murders, either. 

An FBI spokesperson told USA Today that the bureau hopes to install a new computer system by the end of 2014 that will be able to track homicide data in “nearly real time.”

Posted 11/14/14