Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

Brianna Mills Finds that More Gun Injuries Happen Far From Victims’ Homes

Posted: 5/6/2019 (CSDE Research)

The School Public Health recently published a story on CSDE Fellow Alumna Brianna Mills and her innovative research on firearm assault injuries by residence and injury occurrence location. The study, published in Injury Prevention, was part of Mills’ Epidemiology doctoral dissertation and was supported by CSDE’s Shanahan Fellowship.
Mills, a research scientist at the Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center, found that nearly three-quarters of firearm injuries and deaths in King County occurred beyond the immediate area surrounding the victim’s home. The study also found that more injuries happened in certain neighborhoods to people who don’t live there than to the residents of that area.

Mills used data from the Harborview Medical Center Trauma Registry and Washington State death records to analyze 670 fatal and non-fatal firearm assault injuries that occurred in King County between 2010 and 2014. She found that the median distance between the location of injury and the individual’s address was almost 4 miles, with the greatest distance between residence and injury location seen amongst young people. Mills also discovered most missing residential addresses in these records were due to assaults on the homeless or people who live outside the county. This type of missing information introduces bias into a residential-based database because it excludes the homeless and unstably housed or it misrepresents an injury hotspot where injuries occur primarily to nonresidents.


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