DALLAS (NewsNation Now) — Concerns of a national crime spike remain in the U.S. on the heels of another violent weekend, with mass shootings taking place in at least seven states.
The attacks are coming as the country makes a post-pandemic return to society — even in cities one wouldn’t typically expect.
One person was killed and 14 wounded when rapid gunfire erupted in downtown Austin, Texas. Two suspects are in custody in that shooting.
In Savannah, Georgia, 60 bullets were sent flying into a crowd of people on Friday night. Police confirmed one man was killed and seven others were injured. Two of the victims are children, according to police.
Since the start of June, there have been deadly mass shootings in Toledo, Ohio, Louisville, Kentucky, New Orleans and St. Louis.
Just a few weeks ago in California, officers stormed a San Jose rail yard after an employee gunned down nine of his coworkers before taking his own life.
The U.S. has suffered 272 mass shootings this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. That figure is 40% higher than this time in 2020. Nearly 20,000 people have died in gun-related deaths. More than 17,000 have been injured.
Scott Wolfe is a criminal justice professor at Michigan State University — one of the top criminology departments in the country. He says the rallying cry to defund the police during the George Floyd protests also emboldened criminals willing to offend, causing an increase in violent crime and homicide.
“We see the typical cities like Chicago experiencing huge increases in violent crime and homicide,” said Wolfe. “But it’s those small cities that are also experiencing not only the same increases but in some, some cases, more drastic increases in homicide and violent crime.”