A Philadelphia teacher, an Arizona teen, and a Chicago police officer were among hundreds of people shot by bullets this weekend as part of a relentless spate of shootings that have brought gun violence to the forefront of American politics.
According to GunViolenceArchive.org, a Washington DC nonprofit that tracks shootings, more than 124 people were ‘killed and 325 injured in more than 300 shootings documented in the United States between Friday and Monday.
The eruption of violence over the weekend came just after the deadly mass shootings in Texas, New York state, and Oklahoma, which reignited a national debate over stricter restrictions on firearms possession.
Gun rights advocates vehemently oppose the move.
After the weekend shootings, several major city mayors expressed frustration at the impact of the violence on their communities.
“I’m tired of standing in front of you talking about guns and bodies,” Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly said at a news conference Sunday, hours after two people were killed and 14 injured in a shooting at a city nightclub.
“The increase in gun violence that we had seen across the country and here in Philadelphia not only makes me heartbroken but angry,” Mayor Jim Kenney said Sunday, the day after three people were killed and 12 injured when shots were fired. At a busy bar in the South Street area of the city.
The shooting in Philadelphia late Saturday night stemmed from a confrontation between two men who exchanged words as they passed each other in the street, leading to a brawl that quickly escalated into gunfire with at least four weapons, authorities said Monday.
Two suspects, one of whom had been shot in the hand when he opened fire in the melee, were arrested Monday, according to Joanne Pescatore, an assistant city attorney.
According to a Pennsylvania teachers’ union, Kris Miners, a second-grade counselor at Girard College in Philadelphia, a private boarding school, was among those killed in the shooting.
“We see lives senselessly lost and injured in another horrific, brutal, and despicable act of gun violence,” Kenney said.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed 10 gun control bills in response to gun violence on Monday.
Lawmakers in Washington DC are also looking at gun control measures, but any new federal gun laws meet fierce opposition from Republicans, especially in the Senate.
“Change must happen now,” Phoenix mayor Kate Gallego said in a Tweet after a 14-year-old girl was killed and eight others injured in a shooting at a shopping center on Saturday.
Police officers were shot in Baltimore and Chicago last weekend.
On Sunday afternoon, on the south side of Chicago, an officer was injured during a traffic stop, becoming the second member of law enforcement to be wounded by gunfire in the area in four days.
“How many officers and residents must be victims of gun violence before we act?” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot asked in a statement after the shooting.