Kentucky is the latest state in America to be shaken by gun violence, as the mass shooting inside a Louisville bank marked the 146th in 2023.
The US reached the grim milestone on Monday morning, which has already surpassed previous years – following the fatal shooting that left five dead, including the gunman, and eight injured at the Old National Bank.
Last year, the US hit 130 mass shootings as of April 10, 2022. The number later skyrocketed to 646 by the end of the year, according to the Gun Violence Archive – a nonprofit organization that compiles statistics on shootings in the US.
Around the same time in previous years, the numbers were slightly lower, including 137 in 2021 and 87 in 2020. The totals for each year eventually skyrocketed to between 610 and 690.
The Louisville shooting occurred a few hours north of the Covenant School shooting in Nashville on March 27 that left six dead, including three nine-year-olds. The Gun Violence Archive defines a mass shooting as an incident where at least four people are injured with a firearm.
The Monday morning Kentucky shooting marked the 146 mass shooting in 2023. The graph above shows the number of mass shootings up to April 10 in previous years on the left. On the right shows the total number per year
Blood was seen on the steps outside the Old National Bank in Louisville on Monday morning
The Nashville shooting, which is the 129th mass shooting this year, is one of just five in history which had a female gunman.
The rare attacks first happened in 1979 with a teenage girl, who said she murdered because she ‘didn’t like Mondays’.
So far this year California, Texas and Florida all had 13 recorded mass shooting while Louisiana had 12, and Illinois and Tennessee suffered eight, according to the Gun Violence archive.
Authorities haven’t identified the Louisville bank gunman or his motive.
Initially five people were reported dead and six injured until the late Monday morning when authorities announced nine people are in critical condition.
Those injured include one of two officers who were shot as they exchanged gunfire with the alleged shooter.
Among the dead is the gunman. It remains unclear whether the suspect died by officers’ gunfire or from a self-inflicted wound.
A bank employee recalled the fatal incident that started around 8.30am when a man with a ‘long assault rifle’ fire multiple shots near the conference room, the unidentified employee told WHAS.
‘He just started firing,’ the unnamed employee said. ‘I didn’t see his face. We were in the conference room.
‘Whoever was next to me got shot, their blood’s on me,’ he added.
Another witness said they heard multiple gunshots as well as breaking glass coming from the bank Monday morning.
The deadliest mass shooting of the year was in Monterey Park, California on January 21 – which left 11 people dead before the gunman took his own life during a police standoff.
The incident at the Star Ballroom Studio were Huu Can Tran, 72, previously taught lessons before he was expelled occurred during Lunar New Year celebrations.
People are pictured embracing following the mass shooting at the Old National Bank
Pictures from the scene show smashed class at the Old National Bank following the shooting
Police were deployed to the scene of the mass shooting in downtown Louisville on Monday morning
ATF officers were seen with a stretcher outside the Old National Bank on Monday
Two people are pictured embracing outside the Old National Bank in Louisville
Ambulances and police cars were seen outside the Louisville Slugger Field following the shooting
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Eight people were killed during a shooting on January 4 in Cedar City, Utah, with Michael Haight killing his wife, their five children and his mother-in-law before turning the gun on himself.
There are about 120 guns for every 100 Americans, according to the Switzerland-based Small Arms Survey.
No other nation has more civilian guns than people, with around 44 percent of US adults living in a household with a gun.
Around one third own one personally, according to a November 2020 Gallup survey. A third of US adults believe that there would be less crime if more people owned guns.
However, multiple studies show that where people have easy access to firearms then gun-related deaths are more frequent – including suicide, homicide and unintentional injuries.
Mass shootings also drive a demand for more guns, with many Americans feeling they are ‘safer’ if they personally own a weapon.
The rate of gun violence is eight times greater than in Canada, which has the seventh-highest rate of gun ownership in the world.
Numbers from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation data from 2019 show that the US’s gun death rate is 22 times higher than the European Union and 23 times greater than Australia.
Discussions on gun violence and the Second Amendment is always close to the heart of politics in the US, with President Joe Biden constantly complaining about Congress’ inability to pass ‘common sense’ measures after multiple mass shootings this year.
The president made an emotional appeal for stricter gun laws as he signed an executive order to increase the number of background checks following the most deadly shooting of the year in California.
He said: ‘Ban assault weapons. Ban them again. Do it now. Enough. Do something. Do something big.’
His order will increase the number of background checks to buy guns, promote better and more secure firearms storage and ensure U.S. law enforcement agencies are getting the most out of a bipartisan gun control law enacted last summer.
But many Republicans, who currently control the House, blame a ‘mental health crisis’ in the US for the gun violence problem.