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Tensions: Gun Shots Across the US, As Many Dead, Dozens More Injured In The Shootings

At least six people, including a Pennsylvania state trooper, were killed and dozens injured in a string of weekend violence and mass shootings across the U.S.

The shootings in suburban Chicago, Washington state, Pennsylvania, St. Louis, Southern California and Baltimore follow a surge in homicides and other violence over the past several years that experts say accelerated during the coronavirus pandemic.

As of Sunday evening, none of the weekend events fit the definition of a mass killing, because fewer than four people died at each location. But the number of injured in most of the cases does match the widely accepted definition of mass shootings.

Here’s a look at the shootings across the country this weekend:

Shooting in suburban Chicago

At least 23 people were shot, one fatally, during a gathering in a parking lot that drew hundreds of people in a suburban town southwest of Chicago early Sunday, authorities said.

The gunfire broke out in a parking lot in a strip mall in Willowbrook, Illinois, shortly before 12:30 a.m., Battalion Chief Joe Ostrander with the Tri-State Fire Protection District told WGN, a Chicago-area news station. The DuPage County Sheriff’s Office said hundreds of people were at the “peaceful gathering” to celebrate Juneteenth before shots were fired into the crowd.

“We know of 22 victims injured and one victim killed by gunfire. Several other victims were also injured while attempting to flee the area,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

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Rick Wagner, who lives nearby, told the Daily Herald there were at least 300 people in the lot by 10:30 p.m.

The sheriff’s office said police were monitoring the gathering but were called away because of a fight nearby. After gunshots were heard, officers immediately returned to the scene.

“The motive behind this incident is unclear,” said Eric Swanson, deputy chief at the DuPage County sheriff’s office. “We transported numerous victims from the scene. Others just walked into area hospitals.”

The conditions of the wounded were not immediately available, Swanson told reporters.

“It was supposed to be like a Juneteenth celebration,” witness Markeshia Avery told WGN. “We just started hearing shooting, so we dropped down.”

More than five area police districts responded to the shooting, officials told WGN. It was not clear Sunday morning how many shooters were involved or the motivation for the attack.

2 die in shooting at Beyond Wonderland electronic music festival

In Washington State, two people were killed and three injured in a shooting near a campground where many people were staying for a two-day music festival. Thousands of people were in attendance.

Organizers of the Beyond Wonderland electronic music festival said the second day of events at the Gorge Amphitheatre was canceled.

Concert organizers described the location as an “overflow camping area.” The campground was a few hundred yards from the venue, which is near the city of George, about 150 miles east of Seattle.

The incident began at 8:23 p.m. on Saturday, said Kyle Foreman, public information officer for the Grant County Sheriff’s Office.

“The shooter walked away from where the incident happened,” Foreman said in a news conference televised by KING-TV. “The shooter continued to shoot randomly into the crowd. The suspect was eventually taken into custody.”

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The shooter was one of the people injured and was shot during a confrontation with law enforcement, Foreman said.

The names and conditions of the victims were not immediately available.

While a public alert had warned there was an active shooter in the area and advised people to “run, hide or fight,” Foreman said there was no effort to evacuate the festival. Festival activities continued following the shooting and did not end until early Sunday morning, Foreman said.

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St. Louis shooting kills one teen; 9 others wounded
In St. Louis, a shooting at 1:03 a.m. Sunday killed one person and injured 10, half of whom were under 18, Police Chief Robert Tracy said in a news briefing Sunday afternoon aired by KMVO television.

A 17-year-old boy died in the attack. Police had one person in custody but more arrests were possible, Tracy said. The gunfire broke out in the downtown area on the fifth floor of an office building that police believe was being used as a party site.

“Our officers arrived and observed a large number of individuals running from the building,” Tracy said. Officers recovered multiple firearms from the scene, including AR-style rifle, pistols and a handgun, Tracy said.

All but one of the injured were hit with gunfire.

“A 17-year-old female was possibly trampled coming down the stairs, running from the scene and has serious injuries to her spine,” he said.

Tracy said the department is still investigating what happened and what the event was but said several witnesses told officers it was not spontaneous.

Half of those injured lived outside St. Louis, Tracy said. He and St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones said at the briefing that there have been problems with juveniles coming into downtown St. Louis late at night.

“Downtown is not a 1 a.m. destination for your 15-year-old. It’s not a place to drop children off unsupervised,” Jones said.

Pennsylvania trooper dead after attack
One state trooper was killed and a second critically wounded just hours apart Saturday in central Pennsylvania after a gunman attacked a state police barracks.

The suspect drove his truck into the parking lot of the Lewistown barracks about 11 a.m. Saturday and opened fire with a large-caliber rifle on marked patrol cars before fleeing, authorities said Sunday.

Lt. James Wagner, 45, was shot and critically wounded after encountering the suspect several miles away in Mifflintown. Later, Trooper Jacques Rougeau Jr., 29, was ambushed and killed by a gunshot through the windshield of his patrol car as he drove down a road in nearby Walker Township, authorities said.

The suspect was shot and killed after a fierce gunbattle, said Lt. Col. George Bivens, who went up in a helicopter to coordinate the search for the 38-year-old suspect.

“What I witnessed … was one of the most intense, unbelievable gunfights I have ever witnessed,” Bivens said, lauding troopers for launching an aggressive search despite the fact that they were facing a weapon that “would defeat any of the body armor that they had available to them.”

A motive was not immediately known.

Southern California shooting leaves 8 wounded
A shooting at a pool party in Carson, California, a city about 17 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, left eight people wounded, authorities said Saturday.

KABC-TV reported the shooting occurred around midnight at a residential pool party.

The eight victims were ages 16 to 24, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement. They were taken to area hospitals, and two were listed in critical condition, the statement said.

Authorities also said they found another 16-year-old boy with a gunshot wound when they responded to a call about a vehicle that crashed into a wall near the scene.

No one was in custody in connection to the shooting, but authorities said more than a dozen detectives were investigating.

Shooting injures 6 in Baltimore

A shooting Friday night in Baltimore injured six people but all were expected to survive, police said.

Baltimore Police Department spokesperson Lindsey Eldridge said victims were ages 17 to 26.

Police found three men with multiple gunshot wounds just before 9 p.m. after hearing shots fired. The three men were taken to hospitals.

Three additional victims later walked into area hospitals with non-life-threatening gunshot wounds, Baltimore police said.

A spike in violence’

There have been 310 mass shootings in 2023, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which tracks gun violence nationally. The archive describes a mass shooting as one in which at least four people are killed or injured, not including the shooter.

“There’s no question there’s been a spike in violence,” said Daniel Nagin, a professor of public policy and statistics at Carnegie Mellon University. “Some of these cases seem to be just disputes, often among adolescents, and those disputes are played out with firearms, not with fists.”

Researchers disagree over the cause of the increase. Theories include the possibility that violence is driven by the prevalence of guns in America, or by less aggressive police tactics or a decline in prosecutions for misdemeanor weapon offenses, Nagin said.

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