US rocked by three separate mass shootings over Easter weekend

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Two teenage boys killed in Pittsburgh in one of at least three shootings over the weekend, including two in South Carolina

Two teenage boys were killed and eight other people were wounded after gunfire erupted at a party in a short-term rental home in Pittsburgh early Sunday, one of at least three mass shootings across the US on Easter weekend.

The other two shootings – both in South Carolina – left a total of 18 people with bullet wounds, once again reigniting calls among advocates for meaningful gun control legislation.

In Pittsburgh, police said equipment that detects gunfire prompted officers to go to an address on Suismon Street where at least 10 people had been shot about 12.30am Sunday.

First responders brought several of the victims to a hospital, including two 17-year-old boys whom doctors later pronounced dead. Others who were shot but survived took their own rides to the hospital.

There had been at least 50 gunshots fired in the home in question by multiple people who had been drawn into some sort of fight, police said. A handful of other partygoers who were injured but not shot had suffered cuts and broken bones while jumping out of the home’s windows in a desperate attempt to get to safety, investigators added.

Authorities didn’t immediately announce any arrests, though the Pittsburgh police chief, Scott Schubert, pledged that his officers were “going to do everything [they] can to get those responsible”.

“This shouldn’t have happened,” Schubert said in an afternoon news conference. “We’re sick about it.”

The short-term rental provider Airbnb issued a statement saying the person who had rented the home had now been banned from using the service for life.

The person violated a company policy banning parties, said the statement from Airbnb spokesperson Ben Breit. “We share the Pittsburgh community’s outrage regarding this tragic gun violence,” read the statement from Breit. “Our hearts go out to all who were [affected], including loved ones of those who lost their lives, injured victims and neighbors.”

Investigators determined the violence broke out at a party being thrown at a short-term rental, which drew roughly 200 guests who were mostly younger than 18, police said in a statement.

Officials didn’t immediately release the names of the slain boys.

Meanwhile, also early on Sunday, gunfire which erupted at a nightclub in Hampton county, South Carolina, injured nine people. None of the wounds reported at Cara’s Lounge, about 80 miles west of Charleston, were fatal, said officials, who hadn’t immediately announced any arrests in that case.

That bloodshed occurred about 90 miles north from, and mere hours after, a separate shooting at a mall in South Carolina’s capital of Columbia left nine with bullet wounds. The wounded ranged in age from 15 to 73, and one man – 22-year-old Jewayne Price – was jailed following that shooting on accusations of unlawfully carrying a pistol.

Price’s bail was set at $25,000 on Sunday afternoon.

The violence in Pittsburgh and South Carolina came as many American Christians prepared to attend church to worship on Easter Sunday. They also occurred after at least two other high-profile shootings elsewhere in the US.

A shooting in downtown Sacramento on 3 April left six dead and 12 injured. Another, on Tuesday, left 10 shot on a New York City subway.

Police have arrested suspects in both the Sacramento and New York City shootings.

  • The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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