At least 10 dead amid public gun violence in US cities over long Fourth of July weekend

The nation has witnessed an average of five mass shootings on Independence Day over the past decade − more than on any other day of the year.
At least 10 dead amid public gun violence in US cities over long Fourth of July weekend

By early morning on the Fourth of July, public gun violence had claimed at least 10 lives and injured dozens more across the country over the long holiday weekend.

The killings and injuries took place in U.S. cities including Philadelphia; Baltimore; Wichita, Kansas; and Fort Worth, Texas.

Even before this weekend, the nation had already seen more mass killings and victims at this point in the year than in any other year since at least 2006. But Independence Day weekend has emerged as a particularly bloody holiday in the United States.

The nation has witnessed an average of five mass shootings on Independence Day over the past decade − more than on any other day of the year.

President Joe Biden responded to the violence with a statement Tuesday. In part, he said: "Today, Jill and I grieve for those who have lost their lives and, as our nation celebrates Independence Day, we pray for the day when our communities will be free from gun violence."

Monday night: Philadelphia shooting

A gunman carrying a handgun and an AR-style rifle and wearing a bulletproof vest containing multiple magazines killed five people in southwest Philadelphia on Monday night, the Associated Press reported.

When police responded to reports of a shooting, they heard additional shots and eventually found a crime scene sprawled over eight city blocks with three victims ages 20-59 and a fourth estimated to be between 16 and 21. All were male. Two boys, ages 2 and 13, were hospitalised, in stable condition, said Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw.

The Associated Press reported the shooter chased a fifth man and killed him inside a home.

Officers chased a 40-year-old suspect as he continued to fire, and arrested him uninjured in an alleyway, Outlaw said. The man also carried a police scanner. The department was working to determine a motive for the shooting.

Another person was in custody after picking up a gun and returning fire at the shooter, Outlaw said.

Monday night: Fort Worth shooting

Three people were killed and eight injured hours after the annual ComoFest Independence Day celebration and fireworks in Fort Worth's Como neighborhood, police said. Shots were fired into a crowd of hundreds. In a chaotic scene, officers found multiple victims in a parking lot, including one who was pronounced dead.

Victims were taken to hospitals by ambulance and private vehicles. Police said one of the victims is a juvenile.

No arrests had been made as of Tuesday morning, and it was unclear how many people may have opened fire.

A shooting during the 2021 ComoFest injured eight.

Sunday: Baltimore shooting

Police in Baltimore continue to search for the shooters responsible for killing two and injuring 28 others on Sunday, when gunfire erupted just after 12:30 a.m. at an annual block party in Baltimore's Brooklyn Homes area. Three of the victims were critically injured.

Killed in the shooting were Aaliyah Gonzalez, 18, and Kylis Fagbemi, 20, Baltimore police said. The wounded ranged in age from 13 to 32, including 23 teens, with more than half of them minors.

The city's mayor, Brandon Scott, expressed disappointment at videos that emerged on social media of the reactions as the shootings took place, including “some grown man filming some young person pull out a gun ... to get likes on Instagram.”

Sunday: Wichita, Kansas, shooting

Police suspected multiple shooters might have been responsible for a shooting in a Wichita nightclub just before 1 a.m. Sunday. Nine people were injured during the shooting and two more were trampled as people rushed to get out of the City Nightz club.

By Monday, the Wichita Police Department had arrested one suspect, Brandon Young, 31, of Florissant, Missouri, on two counts of aggravated battery. Investigators have recovered four guns and were working to determine if they had been used in the shooting.

The shooting victims were between the ages of 22 and 34, the department stated in a Facebook post, and included seven males and two females.

Since 2006, more than 550 mass killings have been reported in the United States, according to a database kept by USA TODAY, the Associated Press and Northeastern University. Over that time span, at least 2,900 people died and more than 2,000 were injured.

On Tuesday, President Biden observed that it's been a year since a shooter armed with an AR-15-style weapon fired on a crowd at an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois. "In mere moments, this day of patriotic pride became a scene of pain and tragedy."

Since then, Illinois officials succeeded in banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines across the state, Biden said. "Their achievement will save lives. But it will not erase their grief. It will not bring back the seven Americans killed in Highland Park or heal the injuries and trauma that scores of others will continue to carry," he said. "And as we have seen over the last few days, much more must be done in Illinois and across America to address the epidemic of gun violence that is tearing our communities apart."

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