By Kanishka Singh
(Reuters) – A mass shooting in Philadelphia left at least three people dead and 11 others wounded, police said on Sunday in the latest case of gun violence in the United States after recent massacres in Texas, New York and Oklahoma where dozens died.
A gunman opened fire in Philadelphia's busy South Street area, which has multiple bars and restaurants, around midnight on Saturday. Two men and a woman were killed, officials said.
“There were hundreds of individuals just enjoying South Street, as they do every single weekend when this shooting broke out,” Philadelphia Police Inspector D F Pace said.
The incident followed recent shootings at a grocery story in Buffalo, New York, an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and a medical building in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that left dozens dead. Gun safety advocates are pushing the U.S. government to take stronger measures to curb gun violence.
There have been at least 239 mass shootings in the United States so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit research group. It defines a mass shooting as one in which at least four people are shot, excluding the shooter.
Philadelphia police officers observed “several active shooters shooting into the crowd,” with one officer “within about 10 to 15 yards” of an individual firing into the crowd, police said. That officer fired at the suspect, they said.
The whereabouts of the shooters were not immediately known, Pace said. Two handguns were recovered at the scene, including one with an extended magazine, he added. There were no immediate arrests.
U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday called on Congress to ban assault weapons, expand background checks and implement other gun control measures to address the string of mass shootings.
A broad majority of American voters, both Republicans and Democrats, favor stronger gun control laws, but Republicans in Congress and some moderate Democrats have blocked such legislation for years.
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by Matthew Lewis)