WISQARS™ NVDRS Data Elements (Variables)

Below is a list of data elements in NVDRS. Note that some of these variables are not available via WISQARS NVDRS. To learn more about the application process for requesting access to case-level microdata, and a larger set of NVDRS variables, please see information about the NVDRS Restricted Access Database on the NVDRS webpage.

For more information about how variables in NVDRS are defined, please see the NVDRS Coding Manual.pdf icon

Incident-level Variables

Site Identifier (State)

Incident Number

Incident Year

Incident Type

Incident Category

Number of victims in incident

Number of non-fatally shot persons in incident

Coroner/Medical Examiner (CME) Incident narrative (text field)

Law Enforcement (LE) Incident narrative (text field)

Variables Collected for Victim(s) and Suspect(s)


Age unit (e.g., days, months, years)

Age in years (calculated variable, combining Age and Age Unit)


Race (white; black; Asian, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander; American Indian/Alaska Native; other)

Ethnicity (Hispanic/Latino/Spanish)

Victim Variables

Person type (i.e., Victim, Suspect, Victim-Suspect)




Marital status

Relationship status

Sex of partner

Victim was pregnant

Sexual orientation

Ever served in US armed forces (veteran)

Country of residence

State of residence

County of residence

City of residence

Zip code of residence

US Census tract of residence

US Census block group of residence

Birth place

Birth Country, if other

Kind of business/industry code

Usual industry (text field)

Usual occupation code

Usual occupation (text field)

Current occupation

Homeless status

Education by degree level

Number of years of education

Injury & Death Variables

Death Certificate Manner of death

Law Enforcement report Manner of death

Coroner/Medical Examiner report Manner of death

Abstractor-assigned manner of death (reconciling all sources)

State of injury (by FIPS code)

County of injury (by FIPS code)

City of injury (by FIPS code)

Zip code of injury

US Census tract of injury

US Census block group of injury

Date of injury

Time of injury

Type of location where injured

Injured at work

Injured at victim’s home

EMS at scene of injury

Victim in custody when injured

Recent release from an institution

Alcohol use suspected

Survival time no. of units

Unit of time used in survival time

Victim seen in emergency department
Victim admitted to inpatient care

1st external cause of injury code by hospital (ICD-9 CM & ICD-10 CM)

2nd external cause of injury code from hospital (ICD-9 CM & ICD-10 CM)

Underlying cause of death ICD-10 code

ICD 10 4th character

ICD 10 5th character

Immediate cause of death (text field)

Cause leading to immediate cause (text field)

Next antecedent cause of death (text field)

Underlying cause of death (text field)

Place of death

Place of death, if other (text field)

Date pronounced dead

Date of death

State of death

Autopsy performed

Multiple conditions on death certificate 1-10

Wound Location Variables

Number of wounds

Number of bullets that hit victim

Wound to the head

Wound to the face

Wound to the neck

Wound to the upper extremity

Wound to the spine

Wound to the thorax

Wound to the abdomen

Wound to the lower extremity

Poisons/Toxicology Variables

No toxicology report

Date specimens were collected

Time specimens were collected

Substance(s) Name

(Specific) Substance tested

(Specific) Substance result

Substance caused death

Person medication prescribed for

Substance categories (auto-populated)

Tested for alcohol

Alcohol test results

Tested for carbon monoxide

Results for carbon monoxide

Tested for amphetamines

Results for amphetamines

Tested for anticonvulsants

Results for anticonvulsants

Tested for antidepressants

Results for antidepressants

Tested for antipsychotics

Results for antipsychotics

Tested for barbiturates

Results for barbiturates

Tested for benzodiazepines

Results for benzodiazepines

Tested for cocaine

Results for cocaine

Tested for marijuana

Results for marijuana

Tested for muscle relaxant

Results for muscle relaxant

Tested for opiate(s)

Results for opiate(s)

Blood alcohol concentration results

Carbon monoxide source, if CO

Suspect Variables

Victim’s relationship to suspect 1

Victim’s relationship to suspect 2

Primary suspect for this victim (only shown with multiple suspects)

2nd suspect for this victim (only shown with multiple suspects)

3rd suspect for this victim (only shown with multiple suspects)

Suspect was also a victim

Suspect attempted suicide after incident

Suspect was caregiver

History of abuse of victim by Suspect

Suspect was mentally ill

Suspect had developmental disability

Suspected alcohol use by Suspect

Suspected substance use by Suspect

Suspect had contact with law enforcement

Suspect recently released from institution

Circumstance Variables by Manners of Death

(*Indicates that variable can be indicated as a specific crisis)

All Manners of Death

Current depressed mood

Current diagnosed mental health problem*

Type of first mental illness diagnosed

Type of 2nd metal illness diagnosed

Other mental health diagnosis (text field)

Current treatment for mental illness/ substance abuse

Ever treated for mental illness

Alcohol problem*

Other substance problem*

Other addiction*

Terrorist attack

Family relationship problem*

Other relationship problem*

Abuse and neglect led to death

History of abuse as a child

Perpetrator of violence in the past month

Victim of violence in the past month

Physical fight (mutual between 2 people)


Timing of the most recent argument

Precipitated by another crime

Nature of first other crime

Nature of 2nd other crime

First other crime in progress

Circumstances known

Other circumstance, (text field)

Crisis in past 2 weeks (other those specified by circumstance variables)

Homicide/Legal Intervention Deaths

Intimate partner violence related


Prostitution or sex trafficking*

Gang related

Justifiable self-defense/law enforcement

Victim was a police officer on duty

Victim was a bystander

Random violence

Victim was intervener assisting crime victim

Victim used a weapon

Mercy killing

Hate crime

Jealousy (lover’s triangle)*

Brawl (3 or more people)

Walk-by assault

Drive-by shooting (homicide only)

Drug Involvement

Suicide & Undetermined Deaths

History of suicidal thoughts or plans

History of suicide attempts

Recent disclosed suicidal thoughts or intent

Disclosed suicidal intent to whom

Person left a suicide note

Contributing criminal legal problem*

Civil legal problems*

Physical health problem*

Job problem*

Financial problem*

School problem*

Eviction/loss of home*

Suicide of a friend or family member*

Other death of friend or family

Anniversary of traumatic event

Disaster exposure*

Intimate partner problem*

Unintentional Firearm Deaths


Target shooting

Self-defensive shooting

Celebratory firing

Loading/ unloading gun

Cleaning gun

Showing gun to others

Playing with gun

Other context of injury

Thought safety was engaged

Thought unloaded, magazine disengaged

Thought gun was unloaded, other

Unintentionally pulled trigger

Bullet ricochet

Gun defect or malfunction

Fired while holstering/ un-holstering

Dropped gun

Fired while operating safety/lock

Gun mistaken for toy

Other mechanism of injury


Weapon type

Additional weapon information (text field)

Firearm type

Firearm gauge

Firearm caliber

Firearm make or NCIC code

Other firearm make (text field)

Firearm model

Other firearm model (text field)

Gun stored loaded

Gun stored locked

Gun access narrative (text field)

Gun owner

Firearm stolen

Primary weapon that killed victim (only shown with multiple weapons)

Second weapon causing injury (only shown with multiple weapons)

Third weapon causing injury (only shown with multiple weapons)

Total number of NVDRS weapons for this victim