USA Today, by Ryan W. Miller and Cady Stanton: At least 17 people were killed Friday to Sunday in the deadliest weekend of mass shooting violence this year, according to a USA TODAY analysis.
In Philadelphia; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Saginaw, Michigan; Omaha, Nebraska; and other towns and cities, there were at least a dozen shootings that killed or injured four or more people, according to data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive and analyzed by USA TODAY. At least 82 people were wounded or killed.
“America’s gun violence crisis was on full display this weekend, an emergency crying out for a solution that we know exists,” said Kris Brown, president of Brady, a gun violence prevention group.
The next worst weekend for mass shooting deaths this year was May 13 to 15 – when 14 people were killed in mass shootings, including 10 at a Buffalo, New York, grocery store, according to the analysis of Gun Violence Archive data. Fourteen people were also killed in mass shootings during the weekend of Dec. 31, 2021, to Jan. 2.
There have been at least 245 mass shootings this year, according to the archive. Last year, there were 692 mass shootings, the highest number of mass shootings of any year since 2014.
The same weekend last year, June 4 to 6, seven people were killed and 53 wounded in mass shootings, according to Gun Violence Archive data. In 2020, the first weekend of June saw six mass shooting deaths and 50 people wounded, the archive’s data shows.
Although horrific, to see the deadliest mass shooting weekend of the year in early June is not unexpected, said Mark Bryant, executive director of the Gun Violence Archive. Bryant said he and his staff typically see the work of tracking mass shootings pick up in the summer. “We always say it starts at Memorial Day,” he said.
A mass shooting listed in the Gun Violence Archive’s data as occurring Saturday could not be independently verified by USA TODAY or in other news reports and was not included in the analysis. No fatalities were reported in the archive’s listing of that shooting. Shootings that involved fewer than four people shot or killed did not meet the archive’s definition of a mass shooting and were not included.
“These shootings are a horrific reminder that gun violence in this country is a policy choice and that the failure to act threatens public spaces like South Street in Philadelphia and private events like graduation parties with the potential for gun violence,” Brown said. “Enough is enough.”
This weekend’s bloodshed comes after a spate of gun violence in Buffalo, New York; Uvalde, Texas; and Tulsa, Oklahoma, that has rocked the nation in recent weeks and focused renewed attention on gun laws.
Philadelphia shooting: Two suspects in custody
Two people were arrested in Philadelphia after a shooting Saturday left three people dead in a crowded downtown street.
Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore announced arrest warrants for two people allegedly involved in the shooting.
One in custody, Quran Garner, faces charges including two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of aggravated assault on police officers. Garner was undergoing surgery after being shot in the hand by police, Pescatore said.
The other suspect was taken into custody Monday, the U.S. Marshals Service announced. Rashaan Vereen, 34, faces charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault, endangerment and conspiracy, among other charges, the Marshals Service said on Tuesday.
Police near the popular South Street entertainment district heard gunshots, and one officer saw a gunman firing into a large crowd, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said Sunday at a news briefing.
Outlaw said the shooting may have stemmed from a physical altercation. Two of the people killed were “innocent bystanders,” Outlaw said, and one was believed to have been involved in the dispute. Eleven people were wounded as the gunshots broke out.
Police identified Alexis Quinn, 27, and Gregory “Japan” Jackson, 34, as two of those killed in the entertainment district. Teacher’s union AFT Pennsylvania identified Kristopher Minners, 22, as the third victim.
“We’re absolutely devastated, devastated by this incident,” Outlaw said.
Outlaw said that when an officer saw one gunman firing, he opened fire, prompting the gunman to drop his weapon. According to police, five guns were fired; two handguns were recovered at the scene, including one with an extended magazine, which carries more bullets. District Attorney Larry Krasner said at least four guns – three 9mm weapons and one .40-caliber firearm – were involved.
Chattanooga, Phoenix, other cities and towns see mass shootings
A shooting at a nightclub in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Sunday morning killed two people, and a third person died after being hit by a vehicle during a scramble resulting from the shooting, Police Chief Celeste Murphy said. Fourteen people were hit by gunfire, and three were hit by vehicles, Murphy said.
In Saginaw, Michigan, three people were killed in a shooting early Sunday, and two were wounded, police said. In Grand Rapids, Michigan, a man was killed and three others were injured in a shooting downtown early Sunday, MLive reported.
Graduation parties, one in Chester, Virginia, one in Summerton, South Carolina, and another in Socorro, Texas, were the sites of three other mass shootings. In Chester, a 20-year-old man was killed, and at least five other people were shot, WTVR-TV reported. In Summerton, a 32-year-old woman was killed, and at least seven other people were shot, WIS-TV reported. In Socorro, five teenagers, 16 to 18 years old, were wounded at a high school graduation house party, Police Chief David Burton said.
Saturday morning in Phoenix, a 14-year-old girl was killed and eight others were wounded after an altercation between multiple parties escalated at a strip mall, police said.
In Omaha, one person was killed and three others injured in a shooting Friday, the Omaha World-Herald reported. One person was killed and three were injured in a shooting in Macon, Georgia, on Saturday, WMAZ-TV reported. A 19-year-old man was killed and three other people wounded in Hempstead, New York, on Saturday, WNBC-TV reported.
Outside a Mesa, Arizona, bar early Sunday, two men were killed and two others, including a security guard, were wounded, Mesa police said.
“We are living in the midst of an ‘epidemic of crime,’ at which thoughtful, God-fearing men everywhere stand aghast. The corruption that prevails, it is beyond the power of the human pen to describe. Every day brings fresh revelations of political strife, bribery, and fraud. Every day brings its heart-sickening record of violence and lawlessness, of indifference to human suffering, of brutal, fiendish destruction of human life. Every day testifies to the increase of insanity, murder, and suicide. Who can doubt that satanic agencies are at work among men with increasing activity to distract and corrupt the mind, and defile and destroy the body?” The Ministry of Healing, 142, 143.