USA shaken by 3 mass shootings over Easter weekend; 2 dead

HAMPTON, SC (AP) – South Carolina authorities are investigating a shooting at a nightclub early Sunday that injured at least nine people. It was the second mass shooting in the state and the third in the nation during the Easter holidays.

The shootings in South Carolina and one in Pittsburghwhere two minors were killed early Sunday also left at least 31 people injured.

No one was reported killed in the violence at Cara’s Lounge in Hampton County, about 80 miles (130 kilometers) west of Charleston, according to an email from the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division, which is investigating the shooting. A phone call to the nightclub was not answered.

In Pittsburgh, two male youths were killed and at least eight people injured when shots were fired during a party at a short-term rental property. “The majority” of the hundreds of people at the party were minors, city police chief Scott Schubert told reporters. The Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the two victims as Jaiden Brown and Mathew Steffy-Ross, both 17.

Investigators believe there were several shooters, and Schubert said police were in the process of processing evidence at as many as eight separate crime scenes spanning a few blocks around the rental property.

The two shootings come just 24 hours after gunfire erupted in a busy shopping mall in the state capital of South Carolina, Columbia, about 145 kilometers north of Sunday nightclub shooting. Nine people were shot and five people sustained other forms of injuries while trying to flee the scene in the Columbiana Center, Columbia Police Chief WH “Skip” Holbrook said Saturday. The victims ranged in age from 15 to 73. No one was life-threateningly injured.

“We do not think this was accidental,” Holbrook said. “We think they knew each other, and something led to the shooting.”

The only person arrested in the mall so far, Jewayne M. Price, 22, is one of three people initially detained by law enforcement as a person of interest. Price’s lawyer, Todd Rutherford, told news media Sunday that his client fired a gun at the mall, but in self-defense. Rutherford said Price faces a charge of illegally carrying a gun because he legally owned his gun but was not allowed to carry a weapon.

Columbia police said on Twitter that a judge on Sunday agreed to let Price leave prison on a $ 25,000 bail. He was to be placed under house arrest with an ankle monitor, police said.

‘It was unprovoked by him. “He called the police, reported himself, turned over the firearm used in this, and made a statement to the Columbia Police Department,” Rutherford was quoted as saying by WMBF-TV.. “That’s why he got a $ 25,000 bail.”

Police said the judge will allow Price to travel from home to work during certain hours each day. Price is prohibited from contacting the victims and others involved in the shooting.

South Carolina residents 21 years of age or older can obtain a firearms permit, which from last year allows them to carry weapons openly or concealed. They must have eight hours of weapons training and pass a background check that includes fingerprints.

The three mass shootings over the Easter weekend come in addition to other gun violence in recent days. Last week, an armed man opened fire in a New York subway car10 people were injured. A suspect was arrested the next day. Earlier this month, six people were killed and 12 others injured in Sacramento, California, during a gun battle between rival gangs as bars closed in a busy downtown area just blocks from the State Capitol.

A week ago, a shooting happened inside a crowded nightclub in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, left a man and a woman dead and 10 people injured. And last month, 10 people were shot during a spring break party in Dallas and several others were injured as they tried to escape the shot.

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