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Urban Violence

33 People Were Injured or Killed in Mass Shootings on Sunday

The spasm of violence spread across half a dozen states within a 19-hour time period.

A college party, an apartment building, a nightclub parking lot, an entertainment venue, and a public housing complex were all settings for outbursts of gun violence on a particularly bloody day this weekend. The incidents garnered little media attention, aside from local news reports. But taken together, the statistics are startling: On Sunday, there were six mass-casualty shootings in America.

One person died and 20 were wounded in four separate episodes that unfolded within the space of an hour and a half in the early morning hours. In the evening, two more mass shootings in two other states claimed two more lives and wounded 10 more.

One of the dead, 20-year-old Bobby Clayton, died after he was hit by a bullet intended for someone else at a public housing complex in Birmingham, Alabama. Clayton’s mother said she learned from police that her son didn’t die alone. “That gives me a little peace because he’s still my baby,” the grieving woman said.

There are differing definitions for what counts as a mass shooting. Sunday’s spasm of gun violence fits the definition used by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Gun Violence Archive, and some news outlets — four or more people shot in a single event. The Federal Bureau of Investigation defines a mass shooting as three or more killed.

The Sunday shootings occurred in two bursts: from 2 a.m. to 3:30 a.m., and that evening, during the 8 o’clock hour. 

2 a.m.: Five people shot in Michigan

Someone fired into a crowd outside a party in a student housing complex across from Saginaw Valley State University in Kochville Township, wounding five. The victims, who were reportedly among 1,000 party guests at the Campus Village apartments, were not students. Police have not made an arrest.

Shortly after 2 a.m.: Five people shot in North Carolina

An altercation between a rapper’s entourage and staffers at The Diamond Club in New Bern spilled into the parking lot and escalated to a shooting, which wounded five. The nightclub was hosting an after-party for Atlanta rapper Rich Homie Quan, who had just performed at a nearby music festival. The suspected gunmen were also from Atlanta, but police did not reveal the nature of the argument. At least 50 shell casings and several weapons were recovered at the scene, and nearby businesses were damaged.

2:10 a.m.: Four people shot in New Jersey

Someone opened fire at an apartment building in Jersey City, killing 35-year-old Arkbar Riley and wounding three women ranging in age from 24 to 35. No arrests have been made. India Holmes, a cousin of the slain father of three, placed roses and a candle on the sidewalk outside the apartment building on Monday. Riley didn’t associate himself with the violence that took his life, she said: “That’s somebody right there that didn’t deserve it.” Parson’s death is the 15th homicide in Jersey City so far this year.

3:20 a.m.: Seven people shot in Missouri

Two men hit another man with their car and then opened fire on him as he stood up and ran away, wounding seven people in Westport, a Kansas City neighborhood known for its nightlife. Kelvin Clark, a 29-year-old felon, was charged with multiple counts of assault for his role in the shooting.

8 p.m.: Six people shot in Louisiana

A 63-year-old man died and five others were wounded when someone opened fire near an apartment complex in the Central City neighborhood of New Orleans. Police said the suspect may have targeted two people, but most of the victims were innocent bystanders. The wounded, one of whom was in a wheelchair, include four men and a woman between the ages of 23 and 60. New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael Harrison said it was the largest mass shooting the city has seen this year. Last November, 17 people were wounded when multiple people opened fire at Bunny Friend Park in the Upper 9th Ward.

8:15 p.m.: Six people shot in Alabama

One hour after the end of an anti-violence rally in a public housing complex in Birmingham, a gun battle erupted between a teenager and a man in a red Mustang. Bobby Clayton, 20, was killed, and three men and two women were injured. With the exception of the teenager, all the victims were innocent bystanders. Birmingham Mayor William Bell said the gun used in the ambush had a 30-round magazine and called for tougher gun laws. Police are seeking a person of interest.

Correction: A previous version of this story gave an incorrect definition for what the FBI considers a mass shooting. Three dead, not four, is the agency’s benchmark. 

[Photo: Tony Webster/Flickr]