Ten people were killed and 38 wounded in mass shootings in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Fort Worth before the July 4 holiday, officials said, prompting a renewed call from President Joe Biden to pass a gun control law.
In Fort Worth, three people were killed and eight wounded in a mass shooting after a local festival to mark the US Independence Day holiday, police said Tuesday.
In a separate mass shooting in Philadelphia on Monday night, five people were killed and two were injured, including a 2-year-old boy and a 13-year-old boy, who were shot in the legs, when a suspect in the armored and armed corps with an AR-15 they opened fire on unknown persons, according to local police.
The Monday night shootings came a day after two people were shot dead and 28 others wounded, about half of them children, in a hail of gunfire at a Baltimore block party.
The motives for the three recent shootings remain unclear.
The United States is struggling with a large number of mass shootings and incidents of gun violence.
There have been more than 340 mass shootings in the country so far in 2023, according to data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive, which defines a mass shooting as an incident in which at least four people are shot, excluding the shooter.
Biden condemned the violence on Tuesday and renewed his calls to toughen America’s gun laws.
“Our nation has once again suffered a wave of tragic and senseless shootings,” Biden said in a statement, calling on Republican lawmakers “to come to the table on common-sense and meaningful reforms.”
Citing constitutional protections for gun ownership, Republicans in Congress have generally blocked attempts to significantly reform gun safety laws and oppose Biden’s push to reinstate the assault weapons ban.
Philadelphia officials pleaded with state and federal lawmakers to act.
“We are asking Congress to protect lives and do something about America’s gun problem,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, a Democrat, said at a news conference Tuesday.
The city’s district attorney, Larry Krasner, asked Philadelphia state lawmakers for “reasonable legislation” of the kind found in neighboring New Jersey and Delaware.
“Some of that legislation could have made a difference here,” Krasner said.
Philadelphia police said the suspect was a 40-year-old man with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and a 9mm handgun who was wearing a bulletproof vest and ski mask.
The dead were between 15 and 59 years old.
Krasner vowed to file multiple murder and other felony charges at the shooter’s first court hearing on Wednesday.
Fort Worth police said no arrests had been made in a shooting that broke out at Como Fest, a recent tradition celebrating the Como neighborhood’s African-American history.
“I choose to believe that these are some criminals that came to this neighborhood to wreak havoc,” Mayor Mattie Parker said, according to the Fort Worth Star’s Telegram channel.
Witnesses heard a barrage of gunfire just before midnight that led some to initially believe it was fireworks, but soon led to a stampede by security, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Hours later, defiant neighbors and community leaders held their Fourth of July parade through Como.
In Baltimore, police have said they are searching for several suspects.
The latest shootings took place around the anniversary of last year’s mass shooting in Highland Park near Chicago, where seven people were killed and 48 others injured in an Independence Day parade. A 22-year-old man remains in custody after being charged with 117 felony counts for the murders.