At least four major U.S. cities were reeling from an onslaught of mass shootings over the weekend that left at least 39 people wounded, five dead and police officials alarmed that the surge in gun violence is a prelude to a bloody summer as the nation emerges from the pandemic.
Police in Austin, Cleveland, Chicago and Savannah were all investigating on Sunday mass shootings that erupted over a six-hour streak that began around 9 p.m. on Friday and spilled over into Saturday morning.
“It’s very disturbing what we’re seeing across the country and the level of gun violence that we’re seeing across the country. It’s disturbing and it’s senseless,” Savannah Police Chief Roy Minter, Jr. said at a weekend news conference after one person was killed and eight others, including an 18-month-old baby and two teenagers, were wounded.
On Sunday morning, Savannah police were working to identify the suspect or suspects who rolled up in a dark-colored sedan and unleashed a barrage of gunfire around 9 p.m. Friday on a group of people standing in front of a home in a residential neighborhood of east Savannah. Minter identified a 20-year-old man killed in the ambush as Arthur Milton of Savannah.
He said two of the adults hit in the shooting were in critical condition. The baby and the two teenagers, ages 15 and 16, suffered non-life-threatening wounds.
Minton said investigators collected 60 shell casings from the shooting scene and added that three houses and several cars were damaged by gunfire.
The chief said the targeted home is the same one someone sprayed with bullets on Tuesday, a shooting that left no one injured.“We don’t think it was a coincidence,” Minter said.
Roughly four hours after the Savannah shooting, gunfire erupted on a street in Austin’s downtown entertainment district, leaving 14 people wounded, two critically, police said.
One suspect was arrested and a second is being sought, said interim Police Chief Joseph Chacon.