UNITED STATES: The U.S. saw a horrific weekend of gun violence. A shooting spree in Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and other American cities underscored the ongoing rise in shootings and gun violence in the U.S. this year.
The shooting near Nationals Park baseball stadium in DC has only amplified such deadly gun violence. As thousands of fans were spending a weekend night watching the Washington National play the San Diego Padres, deafening gunshots from outside the stadium sent fans and players scrambling for their safety in the middle of the baseball game.
Three people were injured – including an innocent bystander who was waiting for her Uber when she saw what appeared to be a person shooting at a vehicle, according to a police report.
Eight-year-old fan, Faris, told reporters: “It was my second shooting. So I was kind of prepared. I always am expecting something to happen.”
Separately on Friday, a drive-by shooting in southwest DC claimed the life of six-year-old Nyiah Courtney. The shots came when Nyiah was riding her scooter on the warm summer night, out with her family. Five others were injured including Nyiah’s mother.
Nyiah’s death marked the city’s 102nd homicide.
Findings cite a 30% increase in the homicide rate between 2019 and 2020 in the 34 major cities it surveyed.
University of Pennsylvania Professor David Abrams, who created the website City Crime Stats last summer to track how the Covid pandemic has affected crime said: “Homicides are, in most of these cities, outpacing – and in some cases by a lot – rates that we’ve seen for the last several years.”
“It’s pretty widespread. This is not just a DC phenomenon. It’s not just a Chicago phenomenon.”
Prof Abrams calls the reason for the increase in shootings and killings “a big puzzle”. Since 2019, from Covid lockdowns to youth programmes being closed to protests over racially-charged police killings – could certainly have contributed to this spike.
How the weekend rolled for U.S. – Other shootings
In Chicago, 56 people were shot in around 41 separate shootings from Friday evening through Sunday noon, BBC reported. Of the 56, eleven people have been killed and 45 others wounded, including several children.
Two people were injured, including a 1-year-old boy, in a shooting in West Philadelphia on Saturday night around 8 p.m., CNN reported.
Police records say that so far this year, homicides in Philadelphia are outpacing last year’s numbers. Philadelphia reached its 300th homicide of the year in July for the first time in over three decades, according to available online records dating back to 1989.
In a Sacramento shooting, two people were killed and four others on Friday night, according to a news release from the Sacramento Police Department.
Early on Saturday, one woman has died and six other people were wounded in a shooting in downtown Portland, Oregon, according to the Portland Police Bureau.
In Tucson, Arizona, on Sunday a gunman killed a 20-year-old EMT and attacked ambulance workers, firefighters and police.
One was killed and four people were injured in a shooting in the city of Gainesville, Florida, on Sunday night.