70 mass shootings in a month leave 75 dead and more than 330 wounded as US gun violence spirals
THE US has been rocked by 75 people killed and 333 left injured in a month-long spate of mass shootings across the country.
In the latest outbreak of bloody violence six people were left dead and 38 injured in Austin, Cleveland, Chicago and Savannah after mass shootings erupted over a six-hour period that began around 9pm on Friday and spilled over into Saturday morning.
Kimfier Miles, 29, from Chicago, Illinois, was among those killed as gun crime erupted across the country.
At around 2am on Saturday morning, June 12, two unidentified gunmen approached a group of people standing on the sidewalk on 75th Street in Chicago’s South Side and opened fire, injuring 13 other people.
Miles was shot in the leg and abdomen and transported to University of Chicago Hospital, but was pronounced dead upon arrival.
The other victims were hospitalized and listed as being in good or fair condition.
According to her family, Miles was a devoted mother to her three young girls.
"She was 29 years young, hardworking, and dedicated to taking care of her children," her family's fundraising page states. "She never missed any family events nor was she shy of helping anyone she could…. This act of senseless gun violence has left her 3 girls hurt, heartbroken, and motherless."
Chicago cops said investigators were searching for two suspects, ABC reports.
The nine adults who suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the shooting ranged in age from 23 to 46.
"It’s very disturbing what we’re seeing across the country and the level of gun violence that we’re seeing across the country. It’s disturbing and it’s senseless," Savannah Police Chief Roy Minter, Jr. said at a weekend news conference after one person was killed and eight others, including an 18-month-old baby and two teenagers, were wounded.
Savannah cops are currently trying to identify the suspect or suspects in a drive-by shooting at around 9pm Friday when a dark-colored sedan rolled up and an occupant open fired on a group of people standing in front of a home in a residential neighbourhood in the east of the city in Georgia.
Minter identified a 20-year-old man killed in the ambush as Arthur Milton of Savannah.
He added that two of the adults hit in the shooting were currently in a critical condition.
The two teenagers, aged 15 and 16 and the baby suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Investigators collected 60 shell casings from the scene and Minter said three houses and a number of cars had been damaged by the gunfire.
The home that was targeted was the same one that someone sprayed with bullets last Tuesday, the police chief said.
"We don't think it was a coincidence," Minter said.
Just four hours later gun violence erupted in Austin’s downtown entertainment district which left one dead and 13 injured.
One suspect was arrested and a second is being sought, said interim Police Chief Joseph Chacon.
Chacon said the mass shooting broke out about 1.24am and seems to have been sparked by a dispute between two groups.
He said most of the shooting victims were innocent bystanders.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler said in a Twitter message the mass-casualty shooting occurred even as police initiated multiple violence prevention programs intended to combat a recent increase in shootings in the Texas capital city.
"But this crisis requires a broader, coordinated response from all levels of government," Adler said. "One thing is clear – greater access to firearms does not equal greater public safety."
The US has now suffered a total of 270 mass shootings so far this year, according to The Gun Violence Archive, a website that tracks shootings across the country.
A mass shooting is defined as single incidents in which four or more people are shot, regardless of whether anyone dies.
A spate of mass shootings erupted in the country in May in one weekend leaving at least 11 people dead and 69 others injured.
The violence erupted in Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana, South Carolina, Virginia, Texas, and Minnesota.
Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, told The Associated Press that the seemingly non-stop incidents of mass shootings and surging violent crime across the country has police officials bracing for a long and perilous summer as Covid-19 restrictions continue to be lifted and people begin to interact more.
"There was a hope this might simply be a statistical blip that would start to come down,” Wexler told the AP. "That hasn’t happened. And that’s what really makes chiefs worry that we may be entering a new period where we will see a reversal of 20 years of declines in these crimes."
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