News and notes on guns in America

More Than 140 People Were Shot, 54 Fatally, on New Year’s Day

From left, Leticia “Letii” Vela; Adrian Jashawn Porter; Chandra Mays; and Connie Britton. [Facebook/Gun Memorial]

A 4-month-old boy wounded in North Carolina. Two men dead in St. Louis. A woman killed by her boyfriend in Michigan.

Just 24 hours into the new year, the country’s gun violence crisis had claimed at least 54 lives and left 93 people wounded, according to Gun Violence Archive. In total, at least 147 people were shot in the United States on New Year’s Day.

  • Connie Britton, a 56-year-old woman, and her 71-year-old male companion, Dowell Gray, were fatally shot in North Topsail Beach, North Carolina, in the first hour of the new year. Her 28-year-old son confessed to the killings.
  • A man and a woman were shot to death in Romance, Arkansas, on Monday afternoon. The suspected gunman was fatally shot by police after pointing his gun at officers.
  • In Chicago — where homicides were down 15 percent in 2017 over the year before, and shootings were down 21 percent — a 51-year-old man was killed and at least seven others were injured in separate incidents on Monday.
  • Hours after the close of a year that brought the most homicides St. Louis has recorded in 22 years, two men were found shot to death in a car in that city. The victims were black men; 81 percent of St. Louis’s 203 homicide victims in 2017 were black males, according to police data.
  • A Houston man shot and killed his older brother, who had broken a window in an attempt to enter the younger man’s home. Police said the brothers had been arguing all night, and the younger man had warned the victim that he would be shot if he tried to enter his home.
  • In Wyoming, Michigan, 25-year-old Leticia “Letii” Vela was shot and killed by her boyfriend at their home.
  • Chandra Mays, 29, was killed by her boyfriend following a domestic dispute at his home in Tennessee.
  • A teenage boy fatally shot himself while playing Russian roulette in Sherwood, Oregon.
  • A fight during a holiday celebration in Huntsville, Alabama, escalated to gunfire. Adrian Jashawn Porter, 21, was killed, and three others were wounded in the shooting.

Some New Year’s celebrations also resulted in injuries. A man and a woman in Northern California were wounded by celebratory gunfire shortly after ringing in the new year. At the other end of the state, a 9-year-old boy was injured during a fireworks display in South Los Angeles, and police blamed a stray bullet fired in celebration.

Two police officers responding to a disturbance call at a club in Newbern, Tennessee, were wounded when someone opened fire around 3 a.m. A clubgoer was also injured in the incident.

And in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Monday afternoon, a 4-month-old boy was struck in the ankle by a stray bullet that also wounded his mother.