Nine people wounded in Washington, DC, mass shooting

Two juveniles aged 9 and 17 were among the victims as people flocked to the capital to mark the July Fourth holiday.

Fourth of July fireworks boxes and debris litter Meade Street following a shooting in Washington, DC
Fourth of July fireworks boxes and debris litter Meade Street following a shooting in Washington, DC early on Wednesday [Luis Urbina/WJLA-TV via AP]

Nine people have been injured, including two juveniles, in a mass shooting in Washington, DC, police say, amid Independence Day celebrations across the United States. No arrests have been made so far.

Shortly before 1am (06:00 GMT) on Wednesday, police responded to a report of a shooting on Meade Street in the northeastern quadrant of Washington, assistant chief of the Metropolitan Police Department, Leslie Parsons, said in a video statement on Twitter.

“Upon their arrival, they learnt they had multiple victims who had been struck by gunfire,” Parsons said.

“All our victims have non-life-threatening injuries. Two of our victims are juveniles, one being nine years old and one 17 years old.”

A dark-coloured SUV seen passing through the neighbourhood stopped and somebody opened fire at the victims outside celebrating the July 4 holiday, Parsons said, calling the shooting “targeted”.

Several victims were taken to local hospitals by the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department (FEMS), while others went on their own. Parsons said no victim had been identified.

It was not immediately clear if there was more than one shooter in the vehicle. The incident is the latest in a string of mass shootings over a violent holiday weekend.

Ten people were killed and 38 wounded in mass shootings in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Fort Worth, Texas before the July 4 holiday. In Fort Worth, three people were killed and eight wounded in a mass shooting late on Monday night after a local festival to mark Independence Day, police said on Tuesday.

In Philadelphia, five people were killed and two were wounded, including a two-year-old boy and a 13-year-old boy, both of whom were shot in the legs, when a suspect in body armour and armed with an automatic rifle opened fire on strangers, according to local police.

The US is struggling with mass shootings and incidents of gun violence. There have been more than 340 mass shootings in the country so far in 2023, according to data collected by the Gun Violence Archive.

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden decried the “wave of tragic and senseless” shootings and called on Republicans in Congress to join him in pursuing “meaningful, commonsense” gun reforms.

“It is within our power to once again ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, to require safe storage of guns, to end gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability, and to enact universal background checks,” Biden said in a statement.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies