Four major cities across the US – Austin, TX, Chicago, IL, Savannah, GA, and Cleveland, OH – saw mass shootings within a period of only six hours over the weekend, leaving a total of 38 wounded and 6 dead.
The recent frequency and scope of the gun incidents has left police officials alarmed by the seeming surge in shooting violence just as America is emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic.
During a press conference on Sunday, Savannah’s Police Chief Roy Minter, Jr. declared the current level of shooting violence across the US to be both “very disturbing” and “senseless”.
The Savannah Police are investigating a mass shooting that claimed one person’s life, while eight others were wounded, including two teenagers and a 1.5-year-old baby.
The number of people killed could easily have been higher
The shooting incident in one of Georgia’s main cities occurred on Friday night, around 9 pm EST, when someone from a dark-colored sedan started firing at a group of people in front of a home in the eastern part of Savannah.
The 20-year-old man who was killed was identified as Arthur Milton.
Two adults wounded in the shooting were hospitalized in critical condition.
The baby and the teenagers aged 15 and 16 received non-life-threatening wounds.
Four hours after the shooting in Savannah, a similar incident occurred in the entertainment district in Texas’ capital Austin, resulting in one death and 13 wounded, including one in critical condition.
Interim Police Chief Joseph Chacon announced one suspect was arrested but a second one was still on the loose.
The shooting broke out around 1:24 am local time on Saturday, and was caused by an argument between two groups, however, most of the victims turned out to be innocent passers-by.
Shortly after the mass shooting in Austin, another such incident erupted early Saturday in Chicago’s South Side, in the Chatham neighborhood’s business district, where a woman was killed and nine people were wounded on a sidewalk.
The Chicago Police Department is searching for two gunmen who came to a crowd around 2 am and opened fire.
The nine wounded adults are aged 23 to 46, and have gotten away with non-life-threatening injuries.
The woman who was shot dead was identified as Kimfier Miles, 29.
Besides the shooting in question, however, Chicago also saw a total of 44 people shot from Friday until Sunday, six of whom died.
A worrying growing trend
According to the Gun Violence Archive website, which tracks shootings across the US, so far in 2021, the country has seen a total of 270 mass shootings – defined as incidents in which at least four people are shot, regardless of whether deaths occur.
The Police Executive Research Forum Director, Chuck Wexler, commented there had been hopes that this year’s spike in mass shootings may have been “a statistical blip” but that hasn’t proven to be the case.
In his words, police chiefs are worried there might be a reversal of 20 years in which mass shootings were on the decline.