Media Falsely Reports Suspected Gang Shooting as ‘Mass Shooting’

Twitter / @MannyCam

In the early morning hours of July 5, BNO News reported a suspected gang-related double murder in Phoenix as a “mass shooting.”

The incident occurred around 10:30 p.m. MT Monday night and BNO labeled it a “mass shooting” while emergency personnel were still in the process of responding to it.

The “Breaking News Alert” issued by BNO said:

Emergency services are responding to a mass shooting at a mobile home park in the community of Laveen in Phoenix, according to Maricopa County officials. It is unknown if the shooter is in custody.

The third paragraph in the alert said:

According to initial reports from the fire department, at least two people were killed and four others were injured. Among those injured is a baby who suffered a gunshot wound in the arm. There was no information about the conditions of those injured.

But after the investigation into the incident, 12 News reported that two people were killed in “a shooting” – rather than a “mass shooting” – and four others were injured. And the father of two teens injured in the incident said “he believes this was a gang-related shooting.” In fact, he said “his kids had been talking on the internet with some alleged gang members who were all threatening to shoot each other.”

Breitbart News previously reported that the FBI criteria for a “mass shooting” is four fatalities in one incident. And because the criteria is fixed, Mother Jones editor Mark Follman warned against the growing tendency to exaggerate the number of “mass shootings” that occur.

For example, Follman countered claims of “355 mass shootings” in 2015 by testing each incident by official criteria and showing the actual number of such shootings was “four.”

Writing in The New York Times on December 3, 2015, Follman said:

At Mother Jones, where I work as an editor, we have complied an in-depth open-source database covering more than three decades of public mass shootings. By our measure, there have been four “mass shootings” this year, including the one in San Bernardino, and at least 73 such attacks since 1982.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.