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- January 16 - Beginning of the Mali Civil War.
- January 23 - Al-Nusra Front is founded as Al-Qaeda's branch in Syria.
- February 26 - 17-year old Trayvon Martin is killed by George Zimmerman in a highly controversial shooting in Sanford, Florida.
- February 27 - Chardon High School shooting
- March 11 - Staff Sergeant Robert Bales goes on a killing spree while stationed in Afghanistan, killing sixteen civilians and wounding six others in the Panjwayi District of Kandahar Province, Afghanistan.
- April 2 - Oikos University shooting
- April 26 - The Special Court for Sierra Leone finds Charles Taylor guilty of 11 counts of aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity and sentences him to 50 years in prison.
- May 7 - Vladimir Putin is elected President of Russia for the second time.
- May 12 to 13 - Los Zetas massacres 49 members of the Gulf Cartel on Mexican Federal Highway 40 in Nuevo León, Mexico.
- May 15 - Nicolas Sarkozy's term as President of France comes to an end.
- May 25 - Luka Magnotta uploads his homemade snuff film 1 Lunactic, 1 Ice Pick to www.bestgore.com. The video depicts Magnotta horrificly and gruesomely mutilating, torturing, and cannibalizing the man, including performing acts of necrophilia. The victim in the video is identified as 33-year-old Jun Lin. This begins an international manhunt for Magnotta.
- June 2 - Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is sentenced to life in prison for ordering the murder of peaceful protesters in February 2011.
- June 4 - Luka Magnotta is captured by Berlin Police at an Internet café in the Neukölln district while reading news stories about himself.
- July 19 - Beginning of the Battle of Aleppo.
- July 20 - James Holmes kills 12 people and injures 70 others in a mass shooting at the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.
- June 30 - Mohamed Morsi is elected President of Egypt, becoming the first Muslim Brotherhood member to lead the country.
- August 5 - Wade Michael Page kills 7 people and injures 3 others before committing suicide as part of the Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting.
- August 15 - Floyd Lee Corkins enters the headquarters of the Family Research Council in Washington D.C. and opens fire, injuring one person before being attacked and subdued by security guards.
- September 5 - Samuel Little is arrested in connection with three murders committed in the 1980's.
- September 11 to 12 - 2012 Benghazi attack: militants from Ansar al-Sharia attack the US diplomatic compound and CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya, killing four and injuring eleven.
- November 15 - Xi Jinping is named General Secretary of the Communist Party of China.
- December 10 - Beginning of the Central African Republic Civil War.
- December 14 – Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting: Twenty-eight people, including the gunman, are killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
- March 5 - Lincoln and Parrish Auzenne
- January 8 - Edward Muscare
- January 11 - Katherine Dufresne
- February 1 - Gerlando Alberti
- February 5 - Josh Powell
- June 12 - Henry Hill
- August 5 - Wade Michael Page
- August 20 - Meles Zanawi
- October 7 - Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano
- November 17 - Bal Thackeray
- November 21 - Ajmal Kasab
- December 1 - Jovan Belcher
- December 2 - Israel Keyes
- December 14 - Adam Lanza
- February 5 - Charles & Braden Powell
- February 26 - Trayvon Martin
- March 19 - Mark, Lawton and Rhonda Sesler
- May 25 - Jun Lin
- July 6 - Skylar Neese
- August 10 - Melanie Davis
- September 11 - J. Christopher Stevens and Sean Smith
- September 12 - Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty
- December 14 - Nancy Lanza