Halloween parties ended in tragedy in an ominous week of mass gun violence before Election Day.
Over the past seven days, America witnessed 14* mass shootings that left ten dead and 58 wounded. These attacks bring the US mass shooting body count so far in 2016 to 353 dead and 1,285 injured.
Meanwhile, Europe suffered one mass shooting over the same period of time: At about 7:40 AM Sunday, a large man with a red beard got into a dispute with a group of people who'd been hanging at a club in Yekaterinburg, Russia. The fight escalated as the bearded man took out a gun, opened fire, and injured five people. This attack brings the continent's mass shooting toll so far this year up to 46 dead and 158 injured.
A significant chunk of the latest American mass shootings were linked to parties over Halloween weekend. Around midnight Friday, a dispute at a fraternity party in Jackson, Mississippi, led to a shooting in which six were injured. Just over a day later, at 1 AM local time, an altercation at a party at a shopping center in Riverside, California, left four shot and injured. Later on Saturday, at about 9:45 PM, a shooting near or at a party in Los Angeles left five hurt. Then, on Sunday at about 12:40 AM local time, a dispute at a Halloween party in Newburgh, New York, ended with a shooting that left two dead and five injured. And finally, several hours later—in one of the most headline-friendly and bluntly Halloween-linked attacks of the week—two men in costumes crashed a party in San Antonio, Texas. They got into a fight with some attendees, and when asked to leave by the home's owner, one man dressed as Freddie Krueger pulled a shotgun out of his costume and opened fire, leaving five more people with gunshot wounds.
Even without these Halloween weekend party shootings, this week was already much bloodier than the rest of the month—although most of the other recent large-scale gun attacks were routine by American standards. At about 1:30 AM on Friday, a shooting from the street onto a porch in Miami Gardens, Florida, left four injured. About 23 hours later, a shooting outside of an apartment complex in Dayton, Ohio, left one dead and three injured. Then on Sunday, at about 2:45 AM, another shooting outside an apartment complex—this time in Capitol Heights, Maryland—left two more dead and four more injured. Less than an hour later, a shooting near a nightspot in Toledo, Ohio, left another four people hurt. About a day later, yet another shooting outside an apartment complex—this one in Shreveport, Louisiana, and reportedly triggered by a social media dispute between two women—left four more injured.
As November got underway, a seemingly targeted shooting at a group of teens in a Memphis, Tennessee, park at about 8:15 PM Tuesday left one dead and five injured. The following night, at about 11 PM, a street shooting in Little Rock, Arkansas, left five more injured. Just after midnight on Thursday, an altercation believed to have been linked to some sort of domestic dispute saw two killed and two more injured in the south side of Chicago. And at about3 PM Thursday, a gunman opened fire at a home in Orange, New Jersey, ultimately killing a toddler and his uncle and injuring his father and a teenaged boy before fleeing.
As VICE has previously learned from experts, big holiday gatherings tend to correlate with incidents of large-scale gun violence—especially when the weather is warm. The past week saw fewer shootings and attendant deaths and injuries than that of July 4th, but it still featured the greatest total number of mass shooting victims since mid-summer, suggesting there's nothing innately seasonal about mass gun violence.
That celebrations may lend themselves to mass gun violence is a grim thought as America heads into the holiday season, with its many parties and other large gatherings—often in confined spaces. The last months of the year could pass with little violence (by America's cruel standards), or they could see a flurry of death and injury. That inescapable, chaotic nature of large-scale gun violence ought to be enough to keep America's mass shooting epidemic at the forefront of our minds, holidays and a chaotic election season notwithstanding.
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*This story has been updated to account for a mass shooting in Orange, New Jersey on November 3.