Rampant shootings in major US cities have killed at least three people, including a 6-year-old girl who was shot in a fast-food restaurant in Washington, DC along with five adults that suffered injuries.
Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department Executive Assistant Chief Ashan Benedict pleaded to the public on Saturday to help “bring these shooters to justice,” after the late Friday shooting in a Southeast neighborhood of the city that wounded three men and two women.
“There is too much gun violence still perpetuated in this city, and too many children are being harmed — innocent children — by gunfire. So, please, help the police department, our detectives, bring those people to justice and bring some closure to the families,” Benedict emphasized in a video posted to Twitter.
No arrests have been made in the case although police officers heard the gunshots and reported immediately to the scene.
Two killed, 6 injured in Portland shootings
In the western city of Portland two people were reported killed and at least six others were wounded in separate shooting incidents on Saturday as the city’s mayor insisted that it was facing a “pandemic” of gun violence.
One person was killed and at least six others were wounded in a shooting overnight in downtown Portland, police say.
In the first shooting incident that took place in downtown Portland at about 2 am Saturday, one person – only identified as ‘a woman’ — was killed and six were wounded, according to police authorities, who added that the shooter or shooters fled the scene.
Sgt. Kevin Allen, a police spokesperson, said there may be more than seven shooting victims, as others may have left the scene before police could contact them.
The second shooting happened at about 6:30 a.m. on Saturday in the Parkrose neighborhood of Portland, killing a man. The police have not yet commented on the identity of the victim or the circumstance of the incident.
The city’s Police Chief Chuck Lovell, who joined Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler at a Saturday afternoon press conference, said officers arrived to find an “extremely chaotic” scene downtown. Wheeler further stated that the city was in need of more resources to combat the rising violence.
The fatal shootings are the latest in an epidemic of gun violence across Portland.
According to local press reports, there have been nearly 570 shooting incidents in the city so far this year, more than twice the number recorded during the same time in 2020.
Just last month, for instance, two people were injured in a shooting a few blocks away from Saturday’s downtown incident. In that case, police recovered 28 shell casings.
Portland has also had more than 50 homicides so far in 2021, including two fatal shootings by police.
Seven injured in five separate shootings in New York
In the Brooklyn neighborhood of New York City, meanwhile, a man was killed and seven others were wounded in five separate incidents on Friday night and early Saturday morning, police authorities said.
Police added the 38-year-old man was found shot in the chest just after 10 pm Friday in Sunset Park neighborhood.
About an hour later in Inwood, two women were shot — both in the right thigh — just past 11 p.m. after some sort of dispute with a man who fled the scene, polices said. The victims, 38 and 26 years old, were taken to a hospital with no life-threatening injuries.
Additionally, two apparent bystanders were wounded in crossfire early Saturday when three unidentified men on motor scooters opened fire on at least one other man on a moped in the Harlem, neighborhood, according to an NYPD detective, who identified the victims as a 28-year-old man and a 33-year-old woman.
Two more men, aged 31 and 23, were also shot inside Irving Square Park in the city’s Bushwick neighborhood at 7:15 a.m. on Saturday. While police were investigating the scene, two shots rang out one block away, where another 23-year-old man was found shot at least once in both legs.
News outlets across the US also reported multiple other shooting incidents in other cities throughout the country on Friday night and Saturday, highlighting the persisting epidemic of gun violence in the United States amid reports of surging purchases of all sorts of guns and ammunitions.
Within the past year, the US has seen a spike in crime, including the number of shooting incidents.