Shootings kill 8 within week in US, prompting renewed concern over gun violence

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 In the past week, several shootings in the U.S. states of Kentucky, Florida, and California have claimed eight lives, not including the shooters.

Most recently, on Sunday early morning, a shooting occurred at a restaurant in downtown Louisville, the U.S. state of Kentucky, killing one and injuring six.

No arrests have been made. Police are asking the public with information on the suspect or suspects to call their anonymous tip line, according to local media.

On Saturday afternoon, a racially motivated shooting at a Dollar General store in Jacksonville, the U.S. state of Florida, left at least four people dead, including the shooter.

The shooting happened blocks away from Edward Waters University, a historically black college.

Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters said in a press conference that the victims — two men and one woman — were all black people.

The 21-year-old white gunman Ryan Palmeter lived in Clay County, Florida, with his parents.

He committed shooting with a high-powered rifle and a handgun, wearing a tactical vest, according to police. U.S. media reported Palmeter bought these weapons legally despite a past involuntary commitment for a mental health exam.

He left behind what the sheriff described as three manifestos outlining his “disgusting ideology of hate” and his motive for the attack.

Palmeter, who shot himself after the attack, was believed to have acted alone, according to police.

“We must say clearly and forcefully that white supremacy has no place in America,” U.S. President Joe Biden said in a statement Sunday.

On Sunday evening, hundreds of people gathered at prayer vigils and in church for Jacksonville shooting victims.

Local media reported Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is running for the GOP nomination for president, was loudly booed as he addressed the vigil. He signed a bill in April to allow anyone who can legally own a gun in Florida to carry one without a permit.

The shooting date coincides with the fifth anniversary of a racist crime in Jacksonville, when another gunman opened fire during a video game tournament, killing two people before fatally shooting himself.

The shooting also coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, a landmark civil rights event in the U.S. capital.

Another shooting took place on Wednesday evening, in which retired Ventura police sergeant John Snowling, 59, shot dead three people and himself and injured six, at a historic biker bar in Trabuco Canyon, 90 km south of downtown Los Angeles.

Among the wounded was the shooter’s wife Marie Snowling, who was his intended target, officials have said. Marie’s dining companion was found shot dead on the scene.

When sheriff’s deputies arrived minutes after the shooting began, Snowling began shooting at the deputies, who then returned fire and killed him, police said.

Marie Snowling filed for divorce in December 2022. Under California community property laws, she would have been in line for half of John Snowling’s pension accrued during their years of marriage.

Gun violence has been a divisive and deadly issue in U.S. society for long. Deaths from gun-related injuries have been on successive increase in the United States since 2004, with 2021 hitting a record high of 48,830, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As of Aug. 1, more than 25,000 people had died from gun violence in the United States this year, which is an average of roughly 118 deaths each day, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Among the deaths, 879 were teens and 170 were children.

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