What To Know Today

ICYMI from THE TRACE: “I am different now”: A doctor reflects on treating trauma after being confronted with gun violence firsthand. Dr. Gillian Naro, a resident of internal medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, was on shift last October when a nursing assistant fatally shot a coworker. In an interview with The Trace, Naro shared her thoughts on the layers of trauma surrounding gun violence, including the burdens for health care professionals as well as victims, and the dangers of becoming numb to violence.

  • The role of doctors in preventing violence: “There’s a place where you can heal one person at a time or attempt to, which is what I was referring to that night. But there’s also the same kind of, “If not us, who?” calling, where you try to heal communities at a time, hundreds at a time, millions at a time, which is public health, which is community outreach. I think the same sentiment stands where you can look on that precipice and feel like this is beyond my one person to tackle. But if not me, then who’s going to do it?” 

You can read the full Q&A on our site here. We also recommend the poignant essay Naro wrote about the incident.

A shooting at a car show in Arkansas wounded 28 people, including six children, and left one person dead. On Saturday night, gunfire disrupted a festive atmosphere in small-town Dumas, where the 16th annual Hood-Nic Festival was on its third and final day. “It was a beautiful vibe, very family oriented,” said Amberly R. Taylor, who attended the event to see her 13-year-old son receive an award. “It was a peaceful gathering until it wasn’t. I’m completely baffled as to why the shots were fired so fast. It seems like somebody walked in and did something horrible and then walked out.” Authorities were trying to restore calm to the area as the community awaited developments on the injured, though as of Monday morning, the six wounded children had been treated and released, according to the hospital’s spokesperson. “It’s just heartbreaking,” said a security guard who was off-duty at the time of the shooting. An organizer noted that “a big part of Hood-Nic has been to bring about unity and prevent incidents like this” and that the event had never been punctured by such violence. Police arrested one suspect and were pursuing at least one other person related to what they believe was a gunfight.

In another shooting, a reporter was among two killed in Virginia Beach. Sierra Jenkins, a 25-year-old education reporter for The Virginian-Pilot and Daily Press was killed Saturday morning. As she was leaving a bar and restaurant, gunfire erupted outside and she got caught in the crossfire. Another person was killed and three more were injured. Police were still looking for a suspect. “Everyone loved her,” Maurice Jenkins, Sierra’s father, told The Pilot. “She was such an energetic, caring and giving person. A real go-getter. She’d do anything for anyone.” Kris Worrell, the editor-in-chief of both outlets, said Jenkins’ “passion for journalism was undeniable and our community is better because of her reporting.” She added: “Sierra was funny and energetic and full of enthusiasm. We are absolutely heartbroken.”

Baltimore nonprofit tackles vacant housing. There’s reason to think the tactic can reduce violence. The city recently allocated $50 million from its American Rescue Plan Act funds to tackle vacancy across the city. The Baltimore Sun takes a look at ReBUILD Metro, a community initiative composed of pastors and residents that advocated for the investment and works to redevelop some of the thousands of vacant properties in predominantly Black neighborhoods. In one community where the program was active, the last two decades saw rates of vacant homes drop, homeowners saw the value of their homes rise from sub-market levels, and the homicide rate decline by half. And evidence indicates these efforts can reduce community violence by addressing its root causes. “Without a bolder vision,” said one ReBUILD Metro official, “the city will lose 10,000 more homes to abandonment over the next decade, shedding people and tax revenues and hope with it.”

Data Point

107 — the number of mass shootings so far this year, according to Gun Violence Archive, which defines such incidents as four or more people shot. It’s still early in 2022, but the number of mass shootings is currently exceeding the year-to-date totals of 2020 and 2021. [Gun Violence Archive]

CORRECTION: This previously stated that the city of Baltimore allocated $50 million from its American Rescue Plan Act funds to ReBUILD Metro, a nonprofit.  While ReBUILD advocated for the money, it did not directly receive it. The allocation will be used to tackle vacancy across the city, including the communities ReBUILD serves.