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Gun Violence Yet Again Wreaks Havoc on Celebratory Weekend; Underscores Urgent Need for Action on Gun Safety

June 17, 2024

Deadly Shootings Over Father’s Day Weekend and Early Juneteenth Celebrations Resulted in At Least 50 People Shot and Killed Across the Country

At Least One Weekend Shooting at a Playground in Detroit Was Perpetrated Using A Glock Semi-Automatic Handgun

NEW YORK – As families and communities across the country celebrated Father’s Day and Juneteenth over the weekend, deadly gun violence once again interrupted festivities. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there were nearly 200 shootings over the holiday weekend in which a total of at least 50 people were shot and killed. This number includes a devastating shooting that occurred at a Detroit area playground on Saturday, in which the shooter fired 28 rounds into the crowded waterpark using a Glock semi-automatic handgun. Additionally, a shooting at a Juneteenth celebration in Texas resulted in two people being shot and killed and another 14 injured. Today also marks nine years since the mass shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. 

“Our hearts are with every person whose life has been tragically changed by the horrific gun violence that took place this weekend,” said Angela Ferrell-Zabala, executive director of Moms Demand Action. “We should not have to live in fear of being shot while celebrating at a Juneteenth festival, attending a football game, or enjoying a playground. This is a crisis that a reckless gun industry and extremist lawmakers have manufactured, and our movement will work relentlessly to hold them accountable for jeopardizing the safety of our communities.”

Gunfire over the weekend devastated communities across the country, including:

  • On Saturday night, the Round Rock Juneteenth festival in Round Rock, Texas was violently interrupted when, according to police reporting, a dispute between two groups escalated to someone producing a gun and firing it, hitting multiple people. Two people were shot and killed and 14 others shot and wounded. 
  • Also on Saturday, a shooting at a splash pad playground in the Detroit suburb of Rochester Hills wounded at least nine people, including two children, with the victims ranging in age from four years old to 78. According to police reports, the shooter fired 28 rounds using a 9mm Glock semi-automatic handgun and reloaded multiple times.
  • On Saturday, gun fire interrupted a youth football game at Potomac High School in Oxon Hill, Maryland, killing one adult and wounding one child. According to police reports, a verbal altercation between two people in the bleachers escalated into the shooting. 
  • Youth were also the victim of gun violence in a shooting in northeastern Massachusetts on Sunday, where a youth car meetup resulted in seven people being shot and wounded, including teenagers. 
  • Early Monday morning, a pair of mass shootings roughly an hour apart in Chicago’s Humboldt Park and West Englewood neighborhoods left eleven people shot and wounded, including three teenagers.

Gunfire at celebratory events has sadly become commonplace in America. Over Father’s Day weekend, alarming rates of gun violence in the nation resulted in nearly 200 shootings nationally. Sadly, these are not isolated events. Moments of celebration continue to fall victim to gun violence across the country. Over Memorial day weekend, there were nearly 300 shootings nationally — including 45 people being shot in Chicago alone. Over Easter weekend, there were at least 248 shootings across the country. Earlier this year, communities across the nation were shocked when gunfire erupted at the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl Championship parade in Kansas City, resulting in at least one person being shot and killed and an additional 22 victims who were shot and wounded. At least half of the shooting victims were under 16. 

Juneteenth, celebrated annually on June 19th, is a federal holiday that commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. Black Americans disproportionately bear the burden of gun violence in the U.S. — experiencing gun homicides at 12 times the rate of white Americans, experiencing gun assault injuries at 18 times the rate, and experiencing nearly three times the number of fatal police shootings of white Americans. Today also marks nine years since the mass shooting at Mother Emanuel AME, where in 2015, a white supremacist in Charleston, South Carolina shot and killed nine Black parishioners – including the Senior Pastor – during Bible study at Mother Emanuel AME. 

Firearms are the leading cause of death for children and teens. When it comes to ways American children are exposed to gun violence, gunfire at schools is just the tip of the iceberg. Every year, more than 4,000 children and teens are shot and killed and 17,000 more are shot and wounded, and an estimated three million children in the U.S. are exposed to shootings per year. Witnessing shootings—whether in their schools, their communities or their homes–can have a devastating impact. Children exposed to violence, crime, and abuse are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol; suffer from depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder; fail or have difficulties in school; and engage in criminal activity. The impacts of this crisis are shaping an entire generation of Americans. According to research conducted by Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, Glock is the nation’s number one manufacturer of crime guns. On average, over 1.5 times more Glocks were recovered at crime scenes than the second-leading manufacturer across the collected data. 

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