Shooting Sprees Rage in US

Shooting Sprees Rage in US
Shooting Sprees Rage in US

Several fatal shootings were reported across the United States on Saturday, less than a week after a white supremacist shot dead nine blacks at a landmark church in Charleston, South Carolina.

In one incident, at least one person was killed and nine others injured after an unidentified gunman opened fire on a basketball court on Detroit’s West Side, according to Detroit police.

The person killed was a 21-year-old man, according to media reports.

The shooting took place on Saturday night, according to the Detroit Free Press. Neither the identities of the victims, nor of the shooter has been released, RT reported.

Three of the individuals shot were women, the outlet cited Assistant Chief Steve Dolunt as saying. “I think one individual was the target, the others just happened to be at the gathering.”

A 46-year-old man was in critical condition and two other men, 21 and 26 years old, were reported to have serious injuries. Children were also reportedly present at the scene. Dolunt said it was a “miracle” they were not injured.

 Children Targeted

At least seven people, including two minors, were injured in West Philadelphia after a shotgun-wielding attacker fired into a street picnic, local police said. The children were hospitalized and in critical condition.

“It looks like they just randomly fired down the street and hit anyone in their way,” Philadelphia Police Lt. John Walker said in a televised interview.

An 18-month-old girl was rushed to Philadelphia’s Children’s Hospital with a neck wound, while another girl, aged 11, was struck in the knee, and a boy, aged 13, took a shot to the shoulder.

Police listed the ages of the rest of the victims as 22, 26, 26 and 46. One of the victims was shot multiple times and his condition was not immediately known.

Police officers described the crime scene as extremely chaotic and a “terrible situation,” with people frantically trying to help the injured.

 Unarmed Man Shot

Los Angeles police shot and critically wounded an unarmed man after he raised his towel-wrapped hand at officers who thought he was brandishing a gun, a department spokeswoman said on Saturday.

The man, in his 30s, was walking on a busy street and “appeared to be in distress” when police approached him around 6:30 p.m. local time on Friday, Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman Rosario Herrera said on Saturday.

As officers exited their patrol car, the man extended a towel-wrapped hand at them, Herrera said. Officers told the individual to drop the gun before firing, she said. The man, whose identity has not been released, was in critical condition on Saturday. The number of shots fired by police was still being investigated.

The man was later determined to have been unarmed and no weapon was found at the scene.

 Gun Control Reform Unlikely

Tighter gun control is unlikely to be introduced in the US in the near future, as lobby groups such as the National Rifle Association remain powerful amid a lack of public initiative on gun-related issues, US President Barack Obama said in a podcast expected to be released on Monday.

“The grip of the NRA on Congress is extremely strong. I don’t foresee any legislative action being taken in this Congress. I don’t foresee any real action being taken until the American public feels a sufficient sense of urgency and they say to themselves, ‘This is not normal, this is something that we can change and we are going to change it,’” Obama told the New York Times on Friday.

The issue of gun-related violence has been divisive for the US where the right to keep and bear arms is considered fundamental, being enshrined in the Second Amendment of the US Constitution.