Two teenagers have been fatally shot and at least nine people wounded in a mass shooting at a party in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the latest attack in a string of high-profile gun violence incidents in the United States.
Authorities said as many as 90 bullets were fired at the party, where many guests were minors, early on Sunday morning following an apparent altercation, according to police. Shell casings indicated handguns and one rifle were used in the shooting, which possibly involved crossfire.
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Two 17-year-old males later died at the hospital. No arrests had been made and the motive remained unclear.
“It’s heartbreaking; here we are at Easter and we have multiple families, two that won’t see a loved one,” said Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert. “Others that are going to be – how can you even have a holiday when your child was involved in something traumatic like this?”
The incident came as attention has again turned to the high rate of gun violence in the US following a string of high profile mass shootings.
Gunfire at a South Carolina nightclub wounded at least nine people early on Sunday while on Friday, nine others were wounded when a gunman opened fire during an apparent altercation at a busy mall in the South Carolina capital of Columbia.
Last week, a gunman opened fire in a New York subway car, wounding 10 people. Suspect Frank James was later arrested the next day and was charged with a federal crime for committing a terrorist or violent attack against mass transportation.
Prior to that, in early April, six people were killed and 12 others wounded in Sacramento, California, during a gunfight between rival gangs as bars closed in a busy central area just blocks from the state Capitol.
National data indicates a recent spike in gun deaths in the US. In 2020, the most complete data available, more people died from gun-related injuries, including both homicides and suicides, than during any other year on record, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Meanwhile, the number of gun murders recorded in 2020 – 19,384 – was the highest since at least 1968, according to the Pew Research Center.
There have been 143 mass shootings – in which four or more people were shot – in 2022, according to the Gun Violence Archive.