Nine people, including two students, have died in three shooting incidents in the US, news agency AFP reported today.
The incidents of gun violence in north California and Iowa come less than 48 hours after a gunman opened fire at a Chinese New Year dance event in Los Angeles and left 11 dead.
Two shootings were reported at farms in northern California’s Half Moon Bay, south of San Francisco. Seven people died and three have been critically injured.
There was no official confirmation of the death count, but San Mateo County Sheriff tweeted that it was dealing with an incident. “Suspect is in custody. There is no ongoing threat to the community at this time,” the sheriff’s office tweeted.
One person was dead and three injured at the Mountain Mushroom Farm, ABC7 reported, citing law enforcement sources. Three people are dead at the nearby Rice Tucking-Soil Farm, the broadcaster said on its website. It later updated the count and reported that seven had died in the two shootings.
California Governor Gavin Newsom, who has been in Monterey Park where Saturday’s shooting took place, took to Twitter moments after news broke of the new incidents. “At the hospital meeting with victims of a mass shooting when I get pulled away to be briefed about another shooting. This time in Half Moon Bay. Tragedy upon tragedy.”
Another shooting was reported at Des Moines in Iowa. The incident took place at Starts Right Here, which runs an educational mentorship programme for at-risk youths. Two students were killed and three people wounded, two of them critically.
Des Moine police said in a statement that two teenagers, aged 18 and 16, died after being hospitalised with critical injuries. William Holmes, the 49-year-old founder-CEO of Starts Right Here, is in a critical condition.
The back-to-back incidents come against the backdrop of an alarming rise in gun violence in the US and a raging debate over easy access to firearms.
The last year saw as many as 647 incidents of mass shooting, with at least four people shot or killed by a shooter, according to the Gun Violence Archive website.
More than 44,000 people died from gunshot wounds in 2022 across the US, more than half of which were suicides