Within just 13 hours apart, two U.S. mass shootings took place—in El Paso, Texas Saturday and in Dayton, Ohio, Sunday—leaving a total of 29 dead and 53 injured; and as residents in Chicago digest the tragic incidents abroad, the Windy City too copes with another weekend of significant shootings at home, leaving some local officials to express their ongoing state of shock and disbelief.
“Yesterday we learned of twenty dead and dozens injured in El Paso,” tweeted Sen. Dick Durbin Sunday. “Hate-filled, anti-immigrant manifesto. Texas open carry law. Military-grade weapons. Connect the dots and ask yourself when America will say enough.”
A 21-year-old killed 20 people and injured 26 more at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, Saturday afternoon, police said.
The alleged gunman arrested in El Paso has been booked on capital murder charges and police say they will seek the death penalty as the shooting is being treated as a “domestic terrorism case.”
On Sunday, the world woke up to find out nine people were killed and 27 others injured in Dayton, Ohio, while awaiting in line to get into a bar and enjoy the nighlife. According to Dayton mayor Nan Whaley, it all unfolded in just under a minute.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot also issued a statement of solidarity on Twitter.
“Mayor @nanwhaley, and residents of Dayton, the people of Chicago stand with you as you struggle to make sense of the senseless and heal the physical and emotional wounds,” she said.
We’re running out of words, and instead need strong action in every community, at every level of government.
Chicago officials reported Sunday that a local shooting also took place near a playground on the city’s West Side, where a suspect opened fire around 1:20 a.m. from a black Camaro and wounded a group of seven people.
“Is this the new normal in America?” Durbin stated in a tweet. “Enough is enough. We can’t treat this as normal.”
As of Sunday afternoon, Chicago police have reported at least 3 dead and 37 wounded in citywide shootings this weekend.
“A tragic 24 hrs for our country,” tweeted Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi. “Our thoughts & condolences are with everyone affected by this senseless gun violence.”
Guglielmi also added that at the moment, there is no known Chicago connection to the shootings in El Paso or Dayton.
CPD held a press conference Sunday afternoon to give updates on their ongoing investigation into a pair of shootings that left one person dead and at least 11 injured in Douglas Park and Lawndale Sunday.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said that his thoughts are with the victims in those acts of violence, as well as those in El Paso and Dayton.
“What more will it take before we get a handle on what’s going on not just in Chicago but across the country?” Johnson asked.
According to data from the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive, which tracks every mass shooting in the U.S., there have been 253 mass shootings in 2019.
“We’re running out of words, and instead need strong action in every community, at every level of government,” Lightfoot said on Twitter.
Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg also took to Twitter, questioning and criticizing President Donald Trump’s approach to the recent and ongoing violence.
“Will the President of the United States leave his golf resort, go back to Washington, address the nation, condemn—in no uncertain terms—white nationalism, and call for the Senate to convene tomorrow to enact at least the most basic gun safety reforms that most Americans want?” he said.
Earlier on Sunday Buttigieg was on MSNBC inquiring about what sort of message Trump would send.
“…will there be a mix of silence today and more hate tomorrow coming from the highest office in the land?” he said on TV.
Governor J.B. Pritzker also called Trump out on Twitter, saying gun violence has become a public health epidemic “and it’s our duty to interrupt it,” he said. “To keep weapons of war off our streets. To provide mental health resources to those who need it. To stop President Trump’s rhetoric fomenting white supremacy. Lives depend on it.”