WIREGRASS, Ala. (WDHN) — According to the Gun Violence Archive, or the GVA, since 2014, the state of Alabama has seen 95 mass shootings.

The GVA defines mass shootings as any shooting where four or more people were shot, not including the gunman.

The Gun Violence Archive is a nonprofit research group that tracks gun violence across the nation, and so far this year, the state of Alabama has seen 7 mass shootings.

In those shootings, there were 35 total victims. Four of those victims died.

One of those mass shootings happened in Ozark back in March, where two people opened fire on five victims, which put one victim in critical condition.

“I am just going, to be honest with you the bottom line I think it’s a heart issue with people,” Ozark Police Chief, Charles Ward said.

In 2021, the state of Alabama saw 23 mass shootings, and one of those mass shootings took place in Dothan.

Chief Ward believes that the COVID-19 pandemic and the unknown that the pandemic brought people, added to the stress.

“Folks don’t know how to cope with it and I think that has opened my eyes to a lot of things that stress people,” Chief Ward said.

This rise in gun violence is nothing new throughout the state, as the homicide rate per 100,000 people has risen from 8.1 homicides in 2014 to 14.2 in 2020.

That is a 75% increase.

“To me, I think we are in some dangerous waters because folks just don’t have any hope anymore and that’s why there is no hope,” Chief Ward said. “I am just going to tell you people don’t like to talk about it, but this country was founded on godly principles and we have got to get back into churches.”