According to the Gun Violence Archive, 2019 is shaping up to be the worst year for mass shootings since 2016 – with 251 incidents of mass shootings to date.

By Ian Horswill

Posted on August 5, 2019

The two mass shootings in less than 15 hours in the US when 20 people died and dozens were wounded at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, and nine people were shot dead and 27 wounded in 30 seconds at a bustling area of bars and restaurants in Dayton, Ohio, means that there have been more mass shootings than days in 2019.

According to the non-profit organisation Gun Violence Archive, 2019 is shaping to be the worst year for mass shootings since 2016 with 251 incidents of mass shootings, four people shot not including the shooter. When the latest two mass shooting incidents took place on Sunday, there had been 216 days of the year.

In the past eight days, more than 100 people have been shot in the US.

  1. Connor Betts, 24, shot dead nine people and wounded 27 other people in a bustling bar and restaurant area in Dayton, Ohio;
  2. Patrick Crusius, 21, shot dead 20 people, wounding another 26 people, at Walmart in El Paso, Texas. It was the deadliest shooting of 2019.
  3. Santino William Legan, 19, shot dead three poeple and wounded 15 more at the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival in San Francisco Bay.
  4. Two gunmen open fire at the annual Brownsville Old-Timers Day block party in Brooklyn, New York, killing one person and wounding 11 more.
  5. Martez Tarrell Abram, 39, shot dead two co-workers and wounded a police officer at Walmart, Southaven, Mississippi.

The Gun Violence Archive stated there have been 33,028 total shooting incidents in the US in 2019 as of Sunday, resulting in 8,734 deaths and 17,308 injuries.

US President Donald Trump speaking in New Jersey after the weekend’s two mass shootings said that “perhaps more has to be done” on gun control.

The President, who has been accused of using incendiary language at rallies across the country, added: “Hate has no place in our country and we’re gonna take care of it.”

“We have to get it stopped. This has been going on for years.”

Crusius, who lived nine hours drive away in Dallas, targeted “locals that were fundraising outside the Walmart selling water, children and adults”, a law enforcement officer said. He was then captured on Walmart’s CCTV cameras, wearing cargo pants and a black t-shirt, as he raised his semi-automatic gun and fired at the Cielo Vista Mall, killing 20 and injuring at least 26 people.

The victims ranged in age from 82 years to just four months old. Crusius went to his car after the shooting then walked over to law enforcement vehicles where he was arrested without incident.

John Bash, US Attorney for the Western District of Texas, said that federal authorities are investigating the incident as an act of “domestic terrorism,” meaning Crusius was allegedly intent on “coercing and intimidating a civilian population”.

Bash said federal authorities are also considering bringing hate crimes and federal firearms charges against Crusius; these carry the penalty of death.

“We’re going to do what we do to terrorists in this country, which is to deliver swift and certain justice,” Bash said at a news conference on Sunday.

Less than 15 hours later 24-year-old Connor Betts, wearing body armour, a mask, protective ear muffs and wielding an AK 47-style assault rifle, with 100 rounds of ammunition, opened fire on a street in a bustling area of bars and restaurants in the historic Oregon District of Dayton, Ohio. As he tried to enter a bar, Ned Peppers, he was gunned down by police officers 30 seconds after he started firing his rifle.

“Had this individual made it through the doorway of Ned Peppers, there would have been catastrophic injury and loss of life,” Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl said at a news conference.

Betts, from the Dayton suburb of Bellbrook, arrived in the Oregon District with his sister Megan Betts and a mutual male friend and parked a 2007 Toyota Corolla. At some point, Betts and his sister and friend separated. Betts’ sister was among the first to be shot dead and the male friend was wounded. When police located the vehicle, a shotgun was inside it.

“I think this is less of a hate crime and more of an ‘I hate everybody’ crime,” Demoy Howell, who used to work with Betts and went to the same public school, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I honestly feel more comfortable now knowing that he’s gone.”