Nevermind sunrise services and egg hunts, the criminal element celebrated Easter weekend across the U.S. with four shootings that left 34 victims, including three fatalities.
Two of the tragic incidents were in South Carolina, one in Pittsburgh, and the fourth happened in Portland, Oregon, on Sunday night. Portland PD says four teenage males were standing near a gas station around 8:45 p.m. when a driver pulled up and opened fire. One died at the scene and three others, including one who was critically injured, were transported to area hospitals.
Police say over 90 shots were fired early Sunday morning at a house party in Pittsburgh held at a short-term Airbnb rental property. As many as 200 people were in attendance, and many if not most were underage. Two minors were killed while eight others suffered gunshot wounds.
Multiple partygoers jumped out of windows to get away and suffered cuts and broken bones. The fatalities were both 17-year-old males. Pittsburgh Public Schools utilized a “modified lockdown” Monday, meaning only those with scheduled appointments were permitted in or out of buildings.
Nine people were shot early Sunday morning during an Easter party at Cara’s Lounge, a club in Furman, South Carolina. There were people both inside and outside when the shooting started, but police say there were no fatalities.
Saturday afternoon at Columbiana Center Mall in Columbia, South Carolina, nine people were shot, none fatally, and five more injured in the ensuing panic. Police say the shooting was not a random attack but was the result of some kind of conflict.
The victims range in age from 15 to 73, and only the 73-year-old remains hospitalized. Police arrested 22-year-old Jewayne M. Price, who was initially charged with Unlawful Carrying of a Pistol.
Authorities now believe that Price acted in self-defense and was fired on by two people who remain at large. Price, who has no prior record, turned himself in at the scene and gave a statement to law enforcement. The gun he possessed was legally owned, but Price did not have a concealed carry permit. A $25,000 bond was set and he is being held on house arrest until trial.
Gun control advocates will use this spate of holiday violence to push for tougher gun laws. But for the criminals who actually fired the weapons, no unconstitutional restrictions — old or new — will suddenly compel them to be law-abiding citizens. And the likelihood is high that most are veterans of a lax justice system that should have kept them behind bars.