The U.S. is reeling from a spate of shootings across the country this weekend.
In Dayton, Ohio, nine were killed and 27 people were wounded after a gunman opened fire in the city’s downtown Oregon District.
In El Paso, Texas, 20 people were killed and 26 others were hurt when an allegedly anti-immigrant shooter sprayed bullets at shoppers at a Walmart store using an assault rifle.
And, in Chicago, there were two multiple-victim shootings early Sunday morning. In Lawndale, eight people were shot, one fatally. Two hours earlier, in Douglas Park, another seven people were shot near a children’s playground. A total of 47 people were shot, five fatally, in various incidents throughout the weekend.
According to ABC7, the sheer volume of shootings in Chicago over the weekend overwhelmed not only police but emergency departments. Mount Sinai Hospital on the West Side was forced to put its trauma center “on bypass” after resources were stretched to breaking point ― 17 people injured and one dead in the space of three hours.
The term “on bypass” means the hospital closes its doors to ambulance runs, and patients were diverted to other emergency rooms.
Chicago Police Public Information Officer Anthony Guglielmi expressed that it had been a tragic 24 hours for the nation.
Guglielmi said in a tweet that the shootings illustrated the “willingness of people to carry illegal guns” in Chicago due to the very limited consequences for possession.
Chicago Police Chief Eddie Johnson addressed media on Sunday about the weekend’s spate of attacks. He noted the El Paso and Dayton shootings, and highlighted the entire nation’s desperate need for a solution to gun violence.
“You have to stop yourself and ask what will it take before we get a handle on what’s going on,” Johnson said. “Not only in Chicago, but across the country.”
“From police departments to the court systems to prosecutors to legislators ― we have to come together and figure out more common-sense solutions to these problems because clearly too many of our citizens are being shot and killed.”
This weekend’s series of violent attacks has reignited a fiery debate around gun control. In Dayton, as Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tried to speak at a vigil, he was overtaken by repeated screams of “do something!” by the crowd.
And in Washington, D.C., hundreds of activists descended on Capitol Hill to demand gun reform Saturday night following the El Paso shooting.
Various politicians around the country called for a solution to the crisis after the weekend’s senseless killings in Chicago.