News agency AFP reported today that nine people, including two students, were killed in three shootings in the United States.
The spate of gun violence in Northern California and Iowa comes less than 48 hours after a gunman opened fire. At a Chinese New Year dance in Los Angeles, killing 11 people. The gunman, identified as 72-year-old Hu Can Tran, shot himself dead while surrounded by police.
Two shootings were reported at farms in Half Moon Bay in Northern California, south of San Francisco. Seven people were killed and three were seriously injured. Police said a 67-year-old local resident, Chunli Zhao, was taken into custody.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who was in Monterey Park where Saturday’s shooting took place,. Spoke of the moment on Twitter after news of the new incident broke. “A hospital meeting with a mass shooting victim when I was pulled away to brief another shooting. This time in Half Moon Bay. Tragedy upon tragedy.”
Another shooting was reported in Des Moines, Iowa. The incident happened at Starts Right Here, which runs an educational mentoring program for at-risk youth. Two students were killed and three were injured, two of them critically.
Des Moines police said in a statement that two teenagers, ages 18 and 16, died after being hospitalized with serious injuries. Start’s Right Hair founder-CEO William Holmes, 49, is in critical condition.
The back-to-back incidents come against a backdrop of an alarming rise in gun violence in the United States. And a heated debate over easy access to firearms.
According to the Gun Violence Archive website, there were 647 mass shootings last year, with at least four people shot or killed by a gunman.
More than 44,000 people died from gunshot wounds across the United States in 2022, more than half of which were suicides.
San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus said the shooting in Half Moon Bay was. “In the afternoon when the kids were out of school and it was unspeakable for the kids to witness it”. A semi-automatic handgun was found in Zhao’s car, he said.
Reports said the victims were Chinese farm workers and that Zhao worked on a farm.