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Number of people killed by guns in US continues to rise

By Chris Boyette and Jay Croft, CNN

As the nation marks the fifth anniversary of the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday, it has a staggering and grim new statistic to contend with for 2021.

So far this year, we have suffered 270 mass shootings. From Friday afternoon to Sunday, at least eight people were killed and another 48 were injured in eight mass shootings in six states, according to data compiled by CNN and the Gun Violence Archive.

The total is about 40% higher than at this point in 2020, and about 65% higher than at this point in 2019, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive. There were an estimated 194 mass shootings in the US during this same period in 2020, and an estimated 164 mass shootings in the US in this same period in 2019.

CNN defines a mass shooting as four or more people shot, excluding the shooter.

This weekend’s mass shootings include incidents in Georgia, Ohio, Illinois and Austin, Texas.

“We are saddened that Austin has joined the far too lengthy list of communities that have experienced mass shootings,” Dewitt Peart, president and CEO of the Downtown Austin Alliance, said in a statement. “Our nation has endured heartbreak time and time again resulting from the acts of deranged individuals intent on killing and harming others. This senseless violence must end.”

On June 12, 2016, a gunman attacked the nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 people and upending countless lives.

Today, as four more cities struggle in the wake of large-scale gun violence, Orlando still feels the club’s absence, which is particularly painful for LGBTQ residents and LGBTQ people of color. “People are still healing,” says Joél Junior Morales, director of operations at the LGBT+ Center.

Here is a look at some of the most recent incidents.

Austin, Texas

At least 13 people were injured early Saturday morning in a shooting in downtown Austin, Texas, officials said.

Two were in critical condition, Austin Interim Chief of Police Joseph Chacon said at a news briefing Saturday.

Six people were taken to a hospital by the Austin Police Department, and the Austin-Travis County EMS brought in four others for medical treatment, Chacon said. Three other victims went to the hospital on their own.

Savannah, Georgia

A shooting in the Fred Wessels Homes neighborhood in Savannah, Georgia, on Friday night killed one person and injured at least seven others, including a 2-year-old and a 13-year-old, police said.

In a news conference Saturday, Savannah Police Chief Roy Minter revised the number of victims down to eight total and clarified that the victims’ ages ranged from 18 months to 33 years old. Initial reports said nine people were shot — one fatally — and that the youngest victim was 2 years old.

Dallas

Dallas police are investigating a shooting that injured five people Friday, including a 4-year-old girl.

Around 4:45 p.m., police responded to reports of shooting among two groups of people “involved in a disturbance regarding an unknown matter,” police said in a website post. The child was taken to Children’s Medical Center and is in stable condition, police said.

The four adult victims, all women, were taken to local hospitals and had injuries that were not life-threatening, police said.

Chicago

Police were looking for two gunmen in a shooting in Chicago early Saturday that sent 10 people to the hospital, where one woman died.

People were standing on a sidewalk in the city’s South Side when two men approached and opened fire, police said.

Ohio

On the east side of Cleveland, three people were shot to death outside a gas station on Saturday morning. Detective Alexander Sinclair with Cleveland Police told CNN they don’t yet have a motive in the case, but added, “It looked like a shootout-type situation.”

Two 40-year-old men and a 36-year-old man were killed in the shooting next to Prestige Petro on Buckeye Road, Sinclair said. Three women also were shot and hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. Police have not identified a suspect.

In Cincinnati, at least four people, including a 6-year-old and an 8-year-old, were wounded in a shooting on Saturday, according to local police.

The two children are in critical condition, “with one sustaining possible life-threatening injuries,” Emily Szink, a spokesperson for the Cincinnati Police, said in a statement. Two adults, described as men in their late teens, suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

CNN’s Scottie Andrew, Natasha Chen, Kevin Conlon, Brad Parks, Raja Razek, Andy Rose and Alta Spells contributed to this reporting.

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