This year’s Fourth of July weekend, a time when Americans gather for barbecues, parades and fireworks, was marred by violence, rattling a nation already on edge in the wake of multiple mass shootings.
In the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, six people were killed and 38 others were injured when a gunman opened fire from a rooftop onto parade festivities below Monday morning. A person of interest in the attack was apprehended hours later.
The Highland Park tragedy marked the 309th mass shooting in the U.S. in 2022, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which defines a mass shooting as four or more shot or killed, not including the shooter.
It also occurred during a weekend that saw at least 57 people shot in the Windy City, nine fatally, NBC Chicago reported.
Gunfire rocked other cities across the country.
In New York City, 13 people were shot and three killed in six incidents across the city, NBC New York reported. In Kansas City, Missouri, six people were shot in three separate incidents overnight Monday and two people died in the violence, according to the Kansas City Star. A shooting following a concert at the T-Mobile Center near the Power and Light District left four people wounded just after midnight. Two others were shot in separate shootings in the city, the newspaper reported.In Richmond, Virginia, six people — four men and two women — were shot early Monday on West Broad Street, NBC affiliate WWBT of Richmond reported.In Haltom City, Texas, three officers and one civilian were injured in a shooting Saturday night in the 5700 block of Diamond Oaks Drive North, according to the city’s police department. The three officers, who suffered non-life threatening injuries, were later said to be stable. The suspect died by a self-inflected gunshot wound, police said.
One person was killed and four others were injured in Kenosha, Wisconsin, when gunfire erupted around 10:20 p.m. in the 6300 block of 25th Avenue, according to the Kenosha Police Department.
All five victims in the incident were adults.
The injured were initially taken to Kenosha-area hospitals. However, two were transferred to Milwaukee-area hospitals due to “serious injuries,” police said.
“There are no suspects in custody and no known motive,” police said, as the investigation in ongoing.
In Indianapolis, an 8-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy playing in a bounce house were shot during a Fourth of July cookout near East 38th Street and North Arlington Avenue just before 7 p.m., NBC affiliate WTHR reported, citing police.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Capt. Mike Leepper called the incident “an unprovoked attack” in which “the suspects arrived on scene and opened fire on a crowd.”
An adult man was also shot and took himself to a hospital. He is said to be stable. Both children were said to be in critical condition Monday night, police said.
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On the East Coast, two Philadelphia-area law enforcement officers were injured in a shooting that erupted as tens of thousands of people celebrated July Fourth, gathering for fireworks and live music Monday at and near the city’s famed Museum of Art.
The violence led panicked crowds to scatter and run from the area as police instructed people in surrounding buildings to shelter in place, NBC Philadelphia reported.
The two officers, a 36-year-old man and a 44-year-old, were later stabilized at a hospital and released.
One was described as a traffic officer for the city department; the other was a member of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Bomb and Hazardous Device Disposal Unit assigned to the Philadelphia department. Both were working security during the festivities, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said, and had not heard gunfire when they were struck.
Meanwhile, in Sacramento, California, one man was killed and four were wounded in an early morning shooting outside a nightclub.
The gunfire broke out before 2 a.m. in the 1500 block of L Street as people were leaving the club, Sacramento police said. The victim was identified as 31-year-old Gregory Grimes.
The holiday violence comes on the heels of the May 14 shooting at Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, New York, that left 10 Black people dead and the May 24 massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 children and two teachers dead.
The shootings pushed Congress to pass legislation aimed at gun control, which President Joe Biden signed into law on June 25. The bill, the most sweeping legislation aimed at preventing gun violence in 30 years, provides grants to states for “red flag” laws, enhances background checks to include juvenile records and closes the “boyfriend loophole” by keeping guns away from unmarried dating partners convicted of abuse.
In a tweet hours after the Highland Park parade shooting, Biden wrote: “Jill and I are shocked by the senseless gun violence that has yet again brought grief to an American community this Independence Day. As always, we are grateful for the first responders and law enforcement on the scene. I will not give up fighting the epidemic of gun violence.”