I had a vague sense that the Aurora movie theater shooting last month became a much larger story than the Wisconsin gurudwara shooting last Sunday. Google trends thinks the same thing, going by search volumes for Aurora and Sikh over the past month. (I pasted the Google Trends volumes first for the US, then for India, then for the world)
1. Within the US, the peak interest in the Batman shooting was several times higher than that for the Wisconsin gurudwara shooting, and the interest was a lot slower to die away.
1.1 Aurora beat Sikh in every state, Wisconsin being the only one where Sikh came close.
1.2 There seems to be an English/Spanish difference - searches in Spanish were basically entirely uninterested in the Gurudwara case (changing the query to 'sij' changes nothing, except that no one on the English site was searching for it!).
2. In India, Sikh beat Aurora, though not by a very large amount, once you subtract out the high base rate of Sikh which has nothing to do with the Wisconsin attack.
2.1 Within India the pattern is as expected - Punjab, Haryana and Delhi were wildly less interested in Aurora (though I wasn't able to see the graphs for Indian states separately - maybe that difference comes in part from the base rate, and not from the shooting peak.)
2.2 The further south you go the more the relative interest in Aurora increases over Sikh and both Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu were actually rather more interested in Aurora than in Sikh.
3. The worldwide trend tracked the US one, with Aurora beating Sikh in every country except India. Google doesn't think it has enough search volume to give results for Pakistan. The more Anglophone countries showed some degree of interest in Sikh. Many of the country level graphs just look like noise, so I suspect neither of these was a big story (or these weren't good keywords) in many countries.
Possibly pertinent thoughts:
A. Generically, people care more about those who're like them. Basically the queries are compatible with what seems intuitively evident - Indian Sikhs see themselves as having more in common with American Sikhs than American non-Sikhs do.
B. In principle one should normalize, since Aurora killed more people. I wouldn't know how, since in practice I doubt people have linear responses in search interest versus number of deaths.
C. The Aurora story had legs, since the guy was caught, then dyed his hair, went to court etc. And he booby-trapped his house. Plus he chose his site well, since everyone watching the Batman movie would find out about the story and get interested. Basically inasmuch as he was looking for attention, he did a good job. The Gurudwara guy instead killed himself like an idiot. Let this be a lesson to us all - suicide is never the answer.
D. The Aurora shooter is inscrutable since at least so far it's hard to figure out what he was thinking or what went wrong. Whether your particular hobby horse is mental health, or the anomie and isolation characteristic of technological life, or the fate of the losers of sexual revolution, or bullying, there's ample fodder for speculation. By contrast, the logic of the Gurudwara shooter was apparent from the start. What's inexplicable attracts more search queries.