A SPATE of 12 mass shootings left at least 11 people dead and 69 others injured over the weekend as gun violence continues to skyrocket across the US.
There were at least a dozen mass shootings between Friday night and Sunday across eight different states, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive (GVA).
The violence erupted in Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana, South Carolina, Virginia, Texas, and Minnesota.
A mass shooting is defined by GVA as an incident in which four or more people are wounded by gunfire, not including the gunman.
More than 7,600 Americans have been killed by guns already this year, and another 9,500 people have used guns to take their own lives, GVA reports.
The figures mark a 23 percent uptick in deaths from gun violence on the same time last year.
Data from GVA shows that the number of mass shootings first spiked in April 2020, in the early weeks of the pandemic, and has continued to remain high as the virus slows.
The rise in shootings corresponds with an increase in gun sales, which jumped at the beginning of lockdown as a wave of unemployment swept across the country.
An estimated 22 million guns were purchased in 2020 — a 64 percent increase over the previous year, according to Everytown for Gun Safety.
Nick Suplina, Everytown's managing director for law and policy, said that the last year will be "remembered for two conflicting, compounding public health crises — COVID-19 and gun violence."
Suplina told CBS that the pandemic has exacerbated "so many of the causes of gun violence."
"Stress levels were high, opportunities for employment were lower.
"We know that [the rise in] sales are stretching our background check system thin. Many of them are not undergoing a background check at all."
Here's a look at the mass shootings that took place across the weekend. CNN was the first to report on the series of mass shootings.
Four injured in Chicago's West Side
Police in Chicago are currently investigating a shooting that left four men injured in the city's West Side on Sunday afternoon.
The victims, whose ages range from 20 to 41, were stood outside of a home when they "heard shot and felt pain," Chicago PD wrote in a press release.
Three of the men are described as being in a good condition. However, the eldest of the victims was struck multiple times and is currently critical.
The incident remains under investigation. So far, no arrests have been made.
The incident came as a bloody culmination to a weekend of violence in the Illinois city, in which a total of at least 55 people were shot, 11 fatally, since Friday evening.
Four hurt at private even in Illinois
Four people were wounded on Sunday morning after they were shot at a private party at a theatre in the suburb of Park Forest, just 35 miles south of Chicago.
Officers responded to the scene along Artist Walk at around 1 am to find a 30-year-old woman and three men, ages 29, 31, and 33, shot.
Two of the four suffered serious injuries, but police said none were believed to be life-threatening.
Investigators said the incident stemmed from a fight inside of the theatre, though it's unclear what sparked the initial confrontation.
“At this time there is reason to believe that there was more than one firearm involved in this shooting,” police said.
No arrests have yet been made. An investigation remains ongoing.
Three dead and three injured in shooting at Ohio bar
At least three people were killed and three others were wounded in a shooting Sunday outside a bar in Ohio, police said.
Chief Carl Davis of the Youngstown police department said gunfire was reported shortly after 2 am on Sunday in the area of the Torch Club Bar & Grille in Youngstown.
Davis said three people were dead of apparent gunshot wounds and at least three others were wounded, one in critical condition.
None of the shootings occurred in the bar “but they stemmed from an incident which began there,” he said.
Arriving officers rendered first aid to victims near the establishment and officers from nearby departments were called in to help due to the large crowds in what he called a “chaotic and tragic” event.
Authorities said no one was in custody but they were talking to several individuals.
Police declined to comment on how many weapons were used or other details.
Youngstown Mayor Jamael Tito Brown said that, as a father of four, unnecessary violence involving young people “just continues to pull at my heart.”
“It is not easy for me to get the call in the middle of the night from the chief or one of his team to tell me about incidents like this, and it pains me,” he said.
Teen girl killed and five injured in late-night shooting in Columbus, Ohio
A 16-year-old girl was killed and five others were hurt in a late-night shooting during a party in a Columbus, Ohio park on Saturday.
All of the victims were under the age of 20, police say.
Officers responded to reports of a shooting shortly before midnight and found "numerous victims," according to a police report.
Olivia Kurtz, 16, was taken to Grant Medical Center and was pronounced dead just after 1am on Sunday.
Police said a 16-year-old boy, a 15-year-old girl, two 19-year-old women, and a 19-year-old man were also shot. All are expected to recover from their injuries.
Two other people were injured in the panic that ensued after shots were fired at the park, police said. They were self-transported to the hospital and treated for their injuries, which were described as minor.
Police have not made any arrests and are still looking for the suspect, or suspects, wanted in the shooting.
One dead and three hurt in shooting inside Indiana apartment complex
One person is dead and another three were injured when a gunman opened fire in an early morning rampage at an apartment complex in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Shots were still being fired as police arrived on scene at around 12.45am on Sunday, officials said.
Several apartments were reportedly hit by gunfire. Inside the affected residences, police found three people with life-threatening and one person with non-life-threatening injuries.
All of the victims were taken to hospital where one was later pronounced dead.
One person remains in life-threatening condition and the conditions of the two others are not life-threatening, according to police.
The names of the victims were not immediately clear.
Investigators say that there appears to have been some sort of disturbance between multiple shooters in the parking lot of the complex.
The shooting victims were hit by stray bullets from the activity in the parking lot.
No motive and no suspects have been identified at this time.
Four hurt in Norfolk, Virginia
Four people were hospitalized with gunshot wounds in Norfolk, Virginia early Sunday morning.
According to police, the call for the shooting came in just before 3am, and officers responded to the 3100 block of Westminster Avenue.
On arrival, they found four adult victims suffering from non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.
There is currently no further information available.
Two dead and 12 injured during house party in Fairfield, New Jersey
A house party packed with hundreds of guests turned deadly on Saturday in Fairfield Township, New Jersey.
Kevin Elliot, 30, and Asia Hester, 25, both of Bridgerton, New Jersey, were killed in the shooting.
At least 12 others were wounded when the melee began at around 11.50pm.
One person was arrested Sunday and charged with second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, fourth-degree unlawful possession of a large-capacity magazine, second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and certain persons not to have a weapon in the second degree.
Investigators say this was a "targeted attack" and not a "random act of violence."
A motive for the killing has not yet been revealed.
Five wounded at 'large gathering' in Paterson, New Jersey
Five people were injured when gunfire erupted at a large gathering on Hillman Street in Paterson, New Jersey, early Sunday.
The victims – two women, aged 28 and 33, and three men, aged between 26 and 36 – were shot just after 1.30am.
Police said the 33-year-old and the 36-year-old were rushed to Saint Joseph’s University Medical Center for treatment while the 28-year-old refused medical attention.
One of the other victims, a 26-year-old man, is in a critical condition.
Police said a motive is unclear, but said an "unknown actor" opening fire at the gathering.
Minutes earlier, a woman was killed and a man was injured in a shooting on Butler Street.
It's not believed the two incidents are linked at this time.
Jersey City shooting leaves two dead and four hurt
Two people were killed and four others wounded in Jersey City shortly before 11pm on Friday night.
Randolph Black Jr., 25, and Jason Crutcher, 26, were later identified as the deceased.
Officials said Black was found by officers inside a parked vehicle with a gunshot wound to his chest.
Three other men, aged 25 to 35, and a 20-year-old woman were also injured in the shooting. They are all in stable condition.
The circumstances leading up to the shooting are not immediately clear.
Young teen killed and 14 people injured in 'unauthorized concert' in South Carolina
A shooting at what police called an "unauthorized" concert left a 14-year-old dead a 14 others injured.
Officers responded to the scene of the shooting along Piggly Wiggle Drive at around 10.30pm on Saturday night.
Officers found numerous victims with gunshot wounds on scene. Several other victims were located at area hospitals, according to police.
Authorities said the shooting occurred after a fight broke out near the stage.
North Charleston Police Chief Reggie Burgess called the incident a "sad day."
"The individuals were angry at each other and they didn't care who got hit," he said.
"Something happened here that should have never happened. They should have never been set up in the first place here," Burgess said. "That young girl lost her life and 14 other people got victimized, that's another part."
The police chief said the concert was illegal for a number of reasons, including alcohol being sold on private property.
The name of the teen victim has not yet been released.
Shooting at Texas sports complex leaves child and three others hurt
Four people were hurt when shots were fired at sports complex in San Angelo on Saturday night.
The youngest of the victims was a five-year-old boy.
All of the victims suffered minor injuries.
The shooting started during a softball tournament. The violence was sparked when two women began arguing in the stands.
Several men attempted to break up the fight. A man, suspected to be Eliseo DeLaCruz Rivera, 23, then allegedly pulled a gun from his waistband and opened fire.
He was arrested and charged with four counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
He was released Sunday, May 23, on a $120,000 bond, according to online jail records.
Two killed and eight wounded in Minneapolis
Two men died and eight others were injured in a shooting in downtown Minneapolis on Saturday morning.
The men had been arguing on a crowded corner on North First Avenue when they both pulled guns and began shooting at one another.
After hearing a gunshot at 1.59am local time, the statement said officers in the area of the 300 block of N 1st Avenue "encountered an exceptionally chaotic scene."
The two men who opened fire were already dead from their injuries.
Several people were lying on the ground and the officers began treating the wounded.
Five men and five women were shot in total. One is in critical condition.
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