Gun violence claims more than 100 Americans lives over Easter weekend

According to the Gun Violence Archive, 111 Americans died in shootings and another 278 people were injured over the past 72 hours as attention focused largely on a number of mass shootings that unfolded across the country in recent days.

A shooting early Sunday at a house party in Pittsburgh left two teenage boys dead and at least eight other people injured, in the latest of a string of high-profile mass shootings across the US on Easter weekend.

The violence has been growing in recent days. A gunman, identified by police and prosecutors as 62-year-old Frank R. James, detonated smoke grenades and opened fire on a Manhattan-bound subway train Tuesday morning as it pulled into the Sunset Park station at 36th Street in Brooklyn.

The subway gunman fired 33 shots in all before his firearm reportedly jammed. Ten victims sustained gunshot wounds and about 20 other people sustained other injuries.

Two other Paschaltide shootings – both in South Carolina – left a total of 18 people with bullet wounds, once again reigniting calls among advocates for legislation but no meaningful gun control legislation has been enacted by Congress in decades.

There was one victim slain and another one wounded by gun violence in Maple Shade, while New Jersey Easter shootings left five other people injured in Trenton, Roselle, Pleasantville, and Newark.

A total of 19 people were shot and killed in California during this holiest of holy occasions, while eight people perished in Alabama and Texas, seven died in each of Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania, and five people were killed in Missouri. The District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland and New York each lost four victims to gun violence.

Ten or more people were wounded by gunfire in California, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Illinois, Florida, Virginia, New York, Maryland, Ohio, Georgia, and Michigan.

As many US Christians prepared to attend worship services on Easter Sunday, the high-profile shootings across the nation serve as a grim reminder that most American vividly reject the pacifistic tenets of their professed faith.

About 45,000 people die from gun violence each year in the United States.

Recent data shows an average of more than 120 gun deaths per day, reflecting a nearly 15% increase in gun deaths per day compared to the number of firearm fatalities reported in 2019.

Nationally, the number of homicides rose by 30% from 2019 to 2020, while the amount of suicides decreased slightly over this period.

“Mass shootings are a uniquely American epidemic. No other industrialized nation experiences mass shootings with this frequency,” said gun control advoicate Lisa McCormick. “This is not normal but these tragedies have created a culture of fear in American society, making us all feel unsafe and exposing a generation of children to active shooter drills.”

Columbia Police Chief W.H. “Skip” Holbrook said that a shooting at a busy shopping mall in South Carolina’s capital injured 14 people ranging in ages from 15 to 73-years-old, including nine victims who were shot and five others that suffered injuries while attempting to flee for safety.

Police arrested a 22-year-old Jewayne M. Price, 22, but a judge released him on a $25,000 surety bond even though he was charged as an accessory in connection with the 2018 murder of Amon Rice, a 17-year-old student-athlete who was shot and killed when a meeting among youths to settle a dispute erupted into gunfire in the parking lot of Unity Missionary Church in Hopkins.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) is investigating another shooting that left at least nine people wounded in the early hours of Easter Sunday, at a bar in Hampton County, about 80 miles west of Charleston. There are no reported fatalities, but at least nine people were wounded by gunfire.

A 15-year-old boy was shot in the head Wednesday outside Brooklyn’s Atlantic Terminal Mall. His injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

The New York teenager sustained a gunshot wound to his cranium at about 5:30 pm Wednesday at Atlantic Avenue and Fort Greene Place, just outside the Atlantic Terminal Mall and across from the home of the Brooklyn Nets.

EMTs transported the teen to Methodist Hospital in Park Slope, where he was in stable condition. Police have not identified a suspect nor made any arrests.

On Tuesday, police said a Southern California shoe store owner mistakenly shot a 9-year-old girl while firing at two shoplifters at the Mall of Victor Valley.

Earlier this month, police said six people were killed and 12 others wounded in Sacramento, California, during a gunfight between rival gangs as bars closed in a busy downtown area just blocks from the state Capitol.

One week ago, a shooting inside a crowded nightclub in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, left a man and a woman dead and 10 people wounded, authorities said. And last month, 10 people were shot at a spring break party in Dallas and several others were injured as they tried to escape the gunfire, police said.

There had been at least 50 gunshots fired in the Pittsburgh home by a number of people who had been in some sort of fight. A handful of other partygoers who were injured but not shot had suffered cuts and broken bones while jumping out of the home’s windows in a desperate attempt to get to safety.

The short-term rental provider Airbnb issued a statement saying the person who had rented the home had now been banned from using the service for life.

Investigators determined the violence broke out at a party being thrown at a short-term rental, which drew roughly 200 guests who were mostly younger than 18, police said in a statement.

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