WASHINGTON: More than a dozen people were killed, and at least 60 were injured, across the United States during the American Independence Day weekend — including six who were shot dead during a Fourth of July parade in Chicago on Monday.
The shootings followed countrywide protests against alleged police brutality against an unarmed black man, Jayland Walker in Akron, Ohio, last week. Investigations showed that policemen fired 60 bullets into Walker as he was running away from them.
A state of emergency was declared in Akron after hours of protests that started Sunday night.
Later, a 21-year-old man was shot dead outside his home in Toledo, Ohio.
In Chicago, six people were killed, and 16 others wounded when a gunman armed with a high-powered rifle started shooting 10 minutes after the Highland Park 4th of July parade in Chicago kicked off on Monday morning.
Police launched a manhunt in for the gunman, who was still on the loose, while The Chicago Tribune reported that “people have been advised to shelter” wherever they were. A local hospital said they had treated 26 people for injuries.
Miles Zaremski, a Highland Park resident, told the Sun-Times: “I heard 20 to 25 shots, which were in rapid succession. So, it couldn’t have been just a handgun or a shotgun.” Police were telling people: “Everybody disperse, please. It is not safe to be here,” the newspaper added.
In remarks delivered after the shootings, US President Joe Biden said: “I’m not going to give up fighting the epidemic of gun violence,” noting he had signed the first significant gun control measures in decades into law in late June, but that “much more work” remains to be done.
Last year, 19 people were killed and more than 100 people were shot over the Independence Day weekend. Although Chicago police had deployed extra forces across the city to prevent a similar rage this year, they could not stop the shootings.
On Friday night, a woman was killed, and a gunman was among two others wounded in a shootout in Chicago’s Chinatown. A 24-year-old died at the city’s Stroger Hospital of injuries sustained during a gunfight.
Three people were shot, one fatally, on the South Side of Chicago. The city and its suburbs have canceled 4th of July events after the Highland Park parade shooting.
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan said protests in the town started peacefully on Sunday but became violent as night fell. “There was significant property damage done to downtown Akron. We cannot and will not tolerate the destruction of property or violence,” the mayor said while announcing the state of emergency.
Published in Dawn, July 5th, 2022