CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — Millions of Americans emerging from lockdown will be returning to stores, restaurants and public events, but elected officials and experts say it is time to brace for a “bloody summer” with an alarming uptick in violent crimes and gun violence.
This year alone, more than 19,000 people have been killed by gun violence, and authorities have responded to 262 different mass shootings.
On Thursday, a grandmother and her one-year-old grandson were shot and killed at a Publix grocery store in Palm Beach, Florida.
In Cleveland, eight people were injured after a mass shooting at a graduation party on Sunday.
With at least 893 injured and 410 others killed by gun violence in the last 7 days across the country, experts warn that this will be a “bloody summer.”
Scores of cities across the country are reporting double-digit increases in shootings and homicides this year.
Police in New York City say shooting incidents climbed to 173 shootings in the month of May, compared to 120 in May 2019.
In Chicago, 195 people had been killed as of early May, the highest number in at least four years.
Portland, Oregon, meanwhile, has violent crimes up 553% independent crime analyst Jeff Asher.
“We had the most murders that we’ve had since the mid-’90s and the highest murder rate since the late ’90s. So we’ll certainly see those numbers recreated this year, probably a little higher, probably a little worse, said Asher.
While some cite the pandemic as a cause for increased violence, experts also point to data released by the FBI showing a 40% increase in gun purchases since 2019
He added, “Every size group of the city from under 10,000 to over a million had at least a 20% increase in murder. Last year. The suburban, the suburbs essentially had a 15% increase, and then rural counties had a 15% increase. So it was really widespread and was really nationwide.”