Independence Day celebrations marred by mass shootings across US

Shannon Ryan Image
Wednesday, July 5, 2023
Many on edge after recent string of mass shootings across US
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At least 12 people were killed since the Fourth of July festivities started over the weekend.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As Independence Day celebrations kicked off, at least 12 people have been killed and 48 injured in mass shootings across the country since Sunday.

Sunday morning, two people were killed and 28 injured at a block party in Baltimore.

Around the same time, 11 people were injured at a nightclub shooting in Wichita. The following day a gunman in a bulletproof vest opened fire in Philadelphia, killing five and injuring two. That same day three people were killed, and eight were injured in a Fort Worth neighborhood

New parents Dontae Hightower and Jaylah Sanders took their young son, Javar, for a walk on Discovery Green on the Fourth of July. They told ABC13 they are worried as they prepare to send him off to school.

"I feel like it's getting worse and worse," Hightower said.

Visiting Houston on July 4 from the other side of the country, Davane Bejarano and her 11-year-old son, Bradley, told ABC13 they feel the same way.

"We're from Miami, and you know, the Parkland (mass shooting) was one of the first," Berajno said, adding, "I hate it. I personally think that we need to have more gun control."

According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been at least 345 mass shootings - meaning at least four people were shot in the United States year to date.

"It feels like every year's the same rinse and repeat cycle," Hightower said.

It is a cycle that Marguerite Williams is working to break. She left her banking job to strengthen families and reduce gun violence to help the Center for Urban Transformation in the city's Fifth Ward, the neighborhood she grew up in.

"I relate to the underserved. The marginalized," she said. She feels that community-based violence prevention programs are the path forward.

"We stay striving. We stay going for the best. That's the best I can say right now," Houston resident Kendell Pitchford said.

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