At least 12 people were killed and dozens more were wounded over the weekend in gun violence and mass shootings in five states.
The shootings in Minnesota, Ohio, New Jersey, Georgia and South Carolina come amid a yearlong rise in nationwide gun violence and record firearm sales.
The latest violence erupted near a bar in Youngstown, Ohio, shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday. Three people were killed and three others were injured, one of them critically, after an incident inside the bar, Police Chief Carl Davis said at a news conference. He said authorities were searching for suspects and provided no other details.
Mayor Jamael Tito Brown said in a news conference that the shooting was “unnecessary” and that “it breaks my heart when we have young men and women” dying.
An hour earlier, three people were found dead from gunshot wounds in a condominium complex just south of Atlanta in South Fulton, Georgia. Authorities found the victims, who haven’t been identified, after a report of gunfire at 1:30 a.m., a police spokesman said.
It wasn’t clear what prompted the shooting, and no suspects had been identified, he said.
Authorities in other cities responded to shootings Saturday:
The races and ages of the victims haven’t been released. An analysis of 2019 fatal U.S. shooting data published this year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Black men and boys were disproportionately affected by gun violence.
The analysis found that young Black men were especially vulnerable. Even though they make up just 2 percent of the population, they accounted for 37 percent of all gun homicide deaths in 2019, and they were 20 times more likely to die by gun violence than their white counterparts.
It isn’t clear why the number of shootings over the last year has risen so dramatically. Experts have said the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on mental and physical health, social services and more are likely to have played a significant role.