US rocked by 3 mass shootings during Easter weekend; 2 dead
HAMPTON, S.C. (AP) — Authorities in South Carolina say they are investigating a shooting at a nightclub in Hampton County early Sunday that left at least nine people injured. It was the second mass shooting in the state over the Easter holiday weekend, and the third in the nation.
The South Carolina shootings and one in Pittsburgh that left two minors dead early Sunday at least 31 people injured.
South Carolina’s State Law Enforcement Division is investigating the early Sunday shooting at Cara’s Lounge in Hampton County. The agency said in an email there were no reported fatalities. No information was immediately available on the severity of the injuries. Hampton County is roughly 80 miles (about 129 kilometers) west of Charleston. A phone call to the nightclub was not answered.
In Pittsburgh, meanwhile, two minors were killed and at least eight people were injured during a shooting at a house party. The shooting, which followed an altercation, happened around 12:30 a.m. during a party at a short-term rental property where hundreds of people had gathered — the “vast majority” of them underage, Chief Scott Schubert of the Pittsburgh police department told reporters.
The shootings on Sunday come just a day after gunfire erupted at a busy mall in the South Carolina state capital of Columbia, about 90 miles north of where Sunday’s nightclub shooting took place. Nine people were shot, and five people were injured while trying to flee the scene at Columbiana Centre, Columbia Police Chief W.H. “Skip” Holbrook said Saturday. The victims ranged in age from 15 to 73. None faced life-threatening injuries.
“We don’t believe this was random,” Holbrook said. “We believe they knew each other and something led to the gunfire.”
The Columbia Police Department announced the arrest of Jewayne M. Price, 22, who was one of three people initially detained by law enforcement as a person of interest in the mall shooting. Columbia police said on Twitter that a judge agreed Sunday to let Price leave jail on a $25,000 surety bond. He was to be on house arrest with an ankle monitor, police said. As of Sunday afternoon, the charge listed against him was unlawful carrying of a pistol. He is the only person arrested so far in the mall shooting and online jail records did not list an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
Police said the judge will allow Price to travel from home to work during certain hours each day. Price is forbidden from contacting the victims and anyone else involved in the shooting incident.
South Carolina residents age 21 or older can get a weapons permit, that as of last year, allows them to carry weapons openly or concealed. They have to have eight hours of gun training and pass a background check that includes fingerprinting.
The three Easter weekend mass shootings are in addition to other shootings in recent days. Last week, a gunman opened fire in a New York subway car, injuring 10 people. A suspect was arrested the next day. Earlier this month, police said six people were killed, and 12 others wounded in Sacramento, California, during a gunfight between rival gangs as bars closed in a busy area near the Downtown Commons shopping mall and the state Capitol.
One week ago, a shooting inside a crowded nightclub in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, left a man and a woman dead and 10 people wounded, authorities said. And last month, 10 people were shot at a spring break party in Dallas and several others were injured as they tried to escape the gunfire, police said.
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