Shootings on Saturday and Sunday left 10 people dead in Philadelphia; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Michigan; and South Carolina, continuing a spate of deadly gun attacks as Congress prepares to take up gun-control legislation.
Three fatalities have been confirmed, two related to gunshot wounds and one related to injuries suffered when a person was struck by a vehicle. Several victims remain in critical condition after what police described as a chaotic and harrowing situation, as hundreds of people were out on a pleasant summer night.
An officer fired several shots at one of the gunmen as he was shooting, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said during a news conference Sunday afternoon. The man dropped his weapon and fled when he was fired upon, the commissioner added.
About three hours later, at 2:42 a.m. Sunday, police in Chattanooga responded to reports of shots fired near a nightclub. They found 14 gunshot victims and three people who had been hit by vehicles that “were attempting to flee the scene,” Chattanooga Police Chief Celeste Murphy said in a briefing Sunday.
Murphy said three people were killed, two who were shot and one who was struck by a vehicle. She said the investigation was ongoing. “Multiple shooters” were involved, she said, but police did not have anyone in custody.
In Philadelphia, police were on the hunt for the shooters, Pace said.
Two officers heard gunfire at 11:31 p.m., Outlaw said. When they arrived at the scene, they saw several people with gunshot wounds and began administering first aid.
Police believe there was some sort of physical altercation between two men who started shooting at each other. Both were hit and one was killed, Outlaw said. In all, five guns were fired, police said, not including the one discharged by the police officer on the scene.
Outlaw said the two other people who were killed and several of the wounded were “uninvolved in the initial altercation and were innocent bystanders.”
Of the 14 people who were injured and brought to hospitals, three — two men, ages 22 and 34, and a woman, 27 — were pronounced dead on arrival, police told reporters. The 11 wounded ranged in age from 17 to 69, Outlaw said, and their conditions ranged from stable to critical.
“We’re absolutely devastated, devastated by this incident,” she said.
On Sunday evening, police released the identifications of two of the victims: Gregory Jackson, 34, and Alexis Quinn, 27. The third victim’s identity was withheld pending notification of family members.
About 35 to 40 minutes before the shooting on South Street in Philadelphia, police responded to another report of shots fired nearby. No one was injured in that shooting, and police said it was unclear if the two shootings were related.
*Alert* Emergency personnel are responding to a shooting incident in the area of 3rd and South Streets. Several people have been injured. Please avoid the area.— Philadelphia Police (@PhillyPolice) June 5, 2022
Police will look at video surveillance footage from the bustling area, Pace said.
“There were hundreds of individuals just enjoying South Street, as they do every single weekend, when this shooting broke out,” he added. “This investigation is fluid.”
Of the five weapons used in the shooting, two, both semiautomatic handguns, were recovered, police said. One of them had an extended magazine. “Multiple casings” of ammunition were strewn about the South Street area, Pace added.
Local news outlet 6ABC showed video of glass debris on the street and police tape cordoning off a busy shopping area.
The Philadelphia shooting follows another one nearby early on Tuesday, according to a report from WPHL-TV. Surveillance video showed a woman firing multiple shots at the intersection of Fourth and South streets. One man was shot in the shoulder. He was treated at a hospital, police told the station. It was not clear whether the shootings were related.
In a statement Sunday morning, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (D) called the latest shooting “beyond devastating” and “yet another horrendous, brazen and despicable act of gun violence” that “has shaken many people in our community.”
He also decried the rise in gun violence.
“We’ve spent these years grappling with this rising epidemic and doing everything in our power not only to stop it but to try to understand why the violence continues — it’s senseless, needless and deeply troubling,” Kenney said.
Chattanooga’s nonpartisan mayor, Tim Kelly, also called for stronger gun laws during a news conference Sunday afternoon. “There are families whose lives have been shattered forever because once again, we have people deciding to resolve their issues with firearms,” he said. “I’m tired of standing in front of you talking about guns and bodies. Chattanooga will not tolerate this in our community.”
The Associated Press reported Sunday that an early-morning shooting in Michigan left three people dead. MLive.com reported that police responded to a report of multiple gunshots about 2:30 a.m. Sunday in Saginaw.
Two men were pronounced dead at the scene, and a woman died at a hospital. Two other men also were shot, according to a news release from the Saginaw Police Department. A message left with detectives Sunday afternoon seeking more information wasn’t immediately returned, the AP reported.
In another mass shooting, police in South Carolina said eight people were shot, one fatally, at a Saturday night graduation party, the State newspaper in Columbia reported.
A 32-year-old woman was killed. The wounded were ages 12, 13, 14, 17 and 36, along with two 15-year-olds, Clarendon County Sheriff Tim Baxley said.
At about 11 p.m., deputies responded to calls about a shooting at a graduation party in the St. Paul area, according to Baxley. The sheriff said at least one vehicle, but probably two, pulled up to the party, and shots were fired before the vehicles sped off, the State reported.
The shootings come as Congress is expected to take up gun-control legislation this week. Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said he was “more confident than ever” that Congress would act. “But I’m also more anxious about failure this time around.”
He called the legislation “frankly a test of democracy. It’s a test of the federal government as to whether we can deliver at a moment of just fierce anxiety amongst the American public. So we’re closer than ever before. Let’s see if we land it.”
Quinton Lucas, the nonpartisan mayor of Kansas City, Mo., said that his city has filed lawsuits against gun manufacturers and “fortified” many of its schools, but that action from Congress is needed.
“More than anything, we need stronger and tougher laws that protect our children, protect our grocery stores, protect our police officers,” Lucas said on CBS News’s “Face the Nation.”
“Red-flag laws permitting background checks are very clear solutions,” he added. “And I think the United States Congress has an opportunity to act and make us all safer so we’re not reading about a new mass shooting every few days, which has been the story of the past month in the United States.”
Amy B Wang contributed to this report.