More than 825 children and teens have been killed by guns in 2023
CBS/AP, with Elise Preston contributing, June 19, 2023
Mass shootings in communities across the U.S. have killed at least 12 people since Friday and injured more than 100, CBS Chicago’s Charlie De Mar reported.
The shootings follow a rise in homicides and other violence over the past several years that experts say accelerated during the coronavirus pandemic. Shootings with multiple people killed or wounded happened in suburban Chicago, Washington state, central Pennsylvania, St. Louis, Idaho, Southern California and Baltimore, among other places.
“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.”
So far this year, more than 800 children and teenagers have been killed by guns, which includes homicides and suicides, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Looking at CDC data, a report this month by the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions found 2021 set a record for the most deaths ever: 48,830 gun-related deaths. Of those, 20,958 were homicides, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [Note from BenIndy Contributor Nathalie Christian: The number of fatalities was updated to 825 after the publication of this article.]
Josh Horwitz, the center’s co-director, said states and the federal government need to redouble their efforts to stop gun violence.
“We also think limiting access to firearms in public is important,” he said. “And of course, investing in community violence intervention programs will pay dividends and save lives.”
“We know that there’s a correlation between amounts and levels of guns in the community and gun death,” Horwitz told CBS News.
But 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.
One of the weekend’s shootings took place in Willowbrook, Illinois, where at least 23 people were shot, one fatally, early Sunday in a suburban Chicago parking lot where hundreds of people had gathered to celebrate Juneteenth, authorities said. The DuPage County sheriff’s office described a “peaceful gathering” that suddenly turned violent as a number of people fired multiple shots into the crowd.
Mariah Dixon, 23, was shot in the knee and hid under a car. She told CBS News that her life has been changed forever.
“I don’t know if I will ever be able to attend parties again,” she said.
A motive for the attack wasn’t immediately known. Sheriff’s spokesman Robert Carroll said authorities were interviewing “persons of interest” in the shooting, the Daily Herald reported. Governor JB Pritzker said investigators were also reviewing camera footage from the area, including cellphone video from attendees, CBS Chicago reported.
In Washington state, two people were killed and two others were injured when a shooter began firing “randomly” into a crowd at a campground where many people were staying to attend a nearby music festival on Saturday night, police said.
The suspect was shot in a confrontation with law enforcement officers and taken into custody, several hundred yards from the Beyond Wonderland electronic dance music festival.
In central Pennsylvania, a state trooper was killed and a second critically wounded just hours apart on Saturday after a gunman attacked a state police barracks. The suspect drove his truck into the parking lot of the Lewistown barracks and opened fire with a large-caliber rifle on marked patrol cars before fleeing, authorities said Sunday.
Lt. James Wagner, 45, was critically wounded when he was shot 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.
Another shooting unfolded in a downtown St. Louis office building where a social gathering was being held early Sunday, killing a 17-year-old and wounding 11 other teenagers, the city’s police commissioner said. St. Louis Metropolitan Police Commissioner Robert Tracy identified the victim who was killed as Makao Moore. A spokesman said a minor who had a handgun was in police custody as a person of interest.
Teenagers were having a party in an office space when the shooting broke out around 1 a.m. Sunday.
The victims ranged from 15 to 19 years old and had injuries including multiple gunshot wounds. A 17-year-old girl was trampled as she fled, seriously injuring her spine, Tracy said. Shell casings from AR-style rifles and other firearms were scattered on the ground.
In all, 19 mass shootings were reported in the U.S. between Friday and Monday evening, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
RELATED: All of our fact-checks about guns