4 mass shootings rock the U.S. over Easter weekend

Click to play video: '2 dead, multiple people injured in shooting at Pittsburgh house party' 2 dead, multiple people injured in shooting at Pittsburgh house party
WATCH: 2 dead, multiple people injured in shooting at Pittsburgh house party – Apr 17, 2022

Four mass shooting events rocked the United States this Easter weekend, with gun violence breaking out in Pittsburgh, Portland, Ore., and two locations in South Carolina.

These incidents come on the heels of a mass shooting event in New York that left 10 people injured after a man opened fire on a crowded subway train. A week prior, on April 3, shots rang out in the streets of Sacramento, Calif., leaving 12 dead and six injured.

Click to play video: 'Brooklyn subway shooting suspect tipped off his own location to police before arrest' Brooklyn subway shooting suspect tipped off his own location to police before arrest
Brooklyn subway shooting suspect tipped off his own location to police before arrest – Apr 14, 2022

In the wake of worsening gun violence, U.S. President Joe Biden recently announced tighter restrictions on “ghost guns,” mandating that DIY gun kits include serial numbers and that sellers of the kits follow the same background check procedure for buyers that normal guns are subject to.

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These four mass shooting events occurred during a weekend that saw a convergence of three important religious holidays: Easter, Ramadan, and Passover.

Pittsburgh party erupts in violence

Two minors have died and eight others were injured after a shooting at an Airbnb rental property in Pittsburgh that was being used for a massive party.

According to a press release, when Pittsburgh police responded to the call, they witnessed a chaotic scene of shots still being fired and young people fleeing the area on foot and trying to escape into cars. The investigation revealed that “as many as 200 people (were) in attendance, many of them underage.”

During a Sunday news conference, Pittsburgh police Chief Scott Schubert told reporters that more than 90 rounds of ammunitions were fired, as gunfire was exchanged both inside and outside the Airbnb. Some partygoers jumped through windows to escape the shootout, leading to reports of broken bones and lacerations. Casings found at the Airbnb indicate that there were multiple shooters using handguns and one rifle.

WPXI News reported that the two minors who died during the incident Jaiden Brown, 17,and Mathew Steffy-Ross, 17.

No arrests have been made, no motive has emerged, and police are asking anyone with information to come forward.

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Two shootings, hours apart in South Carolina

Click to play video: '12 injured, 3 detained after shooting at South Carolina mall: police' 12 injured, 3 detained after shooting at South Carolina mall: police
12 injured, 3 detained after shooting at South Carolina mall: police – Apr 16, 2022

One arrest has been made after a shooting occurred in a shopping mall in South Carolina’s capital, resulting in 14 injuries.

Police detained Jewayne M. Price, 22, on Saturday and are still looking for two more suspects after multiple people opened fire in Columbiana Centre mall.

Victims ranged from 15 to 73 years old, with nine people suffering gunshot wounds and the other five sustaining broken bones, lacerations and other injuries while trying to flee the Columbia-area mall. Only one of the 14 victims of the violent incident is still actively receiving medical treatment: a 73-year-old woman.

Investigators believe at least three gunmen were involved in the shooting but are working to determine how many people actually discharged their weapons.

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Columbia police Chief W.H. (Skip) Holbrook said this shooting was likely not a random incident, and that gunfire probably broke out because of some ongoing conflict between the people involved.

“We believe they knew each other and something led to the gunfire.”

According to WIS News, Price’s lawyer claimed that his client, who has been charged with unlawful carrying of a pistol, opened fire in the South Carolina mall out of self-defence. His lawyer said two people made threats to his client on Facebook and were the first to start shooting.

“It was unprovoked by him,” the lawyer said. “He called the police, turned himself in, turned over the firearm that was used in this, and gave a statement to the Columbia Police Department.”

Read more: ‘Random’ drive-by shooting injures 5 after evening prayers in Toronto, police say

About 145 kilometres north and just hours after the bloody conflict at the shopping centre in Columbia, another shooting took place in South Carolina’s Hampton County.

Early morning on Sunday, police arrived at Cara’s Lounge nightclub, where nine people were injured after guns started firing outside the back of the club. The nightclub had been hosting an Easter celebration when the shooting occurred.

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No deaths were reported and police have yet to make any arrests in connection to the incident.

Deadly shooting in Portland

One man was left dead and three minors wounded after a shooting in Portland, according to a police press release.

Law enforcement was dispatched to the scene after receiving a report about a shooting. They found one man dead and three boys who had been shot.

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First responders rushed the young men to local hospitals. One sustained life-threatening injuries and his current condition has not been reported. The other minors are being treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Portland police are investigating the shooting and are asking for those with any information to come forward.

According to the Gun Violence Archive, a non-profit online database, 144 mass shootings have occurred in the U.S. since the start of 2022. The organization classifies a mass shooting as any incident of gun violence in which four or more people are shot.

A study funded through the U.S. Justice Department found earlier this year that the number of Americans dying as a result of mass shooting events is on the rise.

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Click to play video: 'Toronto police reveal startling statistics around gun crime' Toronto police reveal startling statistics around gun crime
Toronto police reveal startling statistics around gun crime – Feb 15, 2022

The research examined 172 mass shootings over a 50-year span of time and found that more than half of all mass shootings in America have occurred since 2000, and 20 per cent happened between 2010 and 2019.

Between 2014 and 2019, an average of 51 Americans died in mass shootings each year. In the 1970s, that number was only eight.

Analysis of the data found that 80 per cent of perpetrators of mass shootings were “in crisis,” and 31 per cent had experienced childhood trauma.


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