Like many of you, I was at a Fourth of July party when I heard the news: another lethal shooting during another weekend in a country that seems to have a death wish.
I’m a 20-year-old in America, which means that news of a shooting doesn’t really feel like news at all.
I was 10 years old when the Sandy Hook shooting happened. I was 13 years old when shooters killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California. I was 16 years old when Stephen Paddock fired over 1,000 bullets and killed 58 concert-goers at a music festival in Las Vegas. That same year, 16 students my age were murdered at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
This weekend, Highland Park entered that horrible list. The only difference to me is that Highland Park is my hometown.
My parents worked in Chicago but they loved living in Highland Park because it’s the kind of place where not much happens. It’s the kind of place where the talk of the town is the most recent over-the-top bat mitzvah or a new Sunday special at Walker Brothers Pancake House. The kind of place where people don’t lock their doors. People in my hometown trust their neighbors. They swim in Lake Michigan and they have Independence Day parades where Klezmer bands play on floats and people wave American flags.
On Monday, that parade became a site of mass death when a shooter stood on a building and didn’t stop until seven innocent people were dead and dozens more were injured.
If you are from Highland Park, you know someone who was at the parade. Among the victims was my Uncle Jimmy’s classmate, Jacquelyn Sundenheim, who passed away from gunshot wounds. My cousin’s friend, Irena McCarthy, was murdered alongside her husband Kevin, leaving their toddler an orphan.
For a variety of reasons—the idyllic day turned into a nightmare; the fact that it was July 4th; the fact that the shooter looks like a character in a horror movie—Highland Park’s tragedy made the headlines.
But it was hardly the first shooting this weekend. It wasn’t even the first one in Chicago.
There were at least eight people killed and 71 people shot throughout the city before the shooting started on Monday morning in Highland Park. The weekend before, the citizens of Chicago endured 20 separate shootings that left several dead, including a 5-month-old baby.
The shootings we remember are the ones that are meticulously planned and executed. But so much of the gun violence in this country is random, impulsive, gang-related, interpersonal and thus harder to fit in a box. That makes it no less tragic. It just means we more easily ignore it.
But what has become ignorable to those lucky enough to live in safe neighborhoods is anything but acceptable to those living in the communities around the country where people live in fear for their lives.
So today we present to you what could be a regular feature: your weekend in American shootings, organized by state. Nearly every American state reported shootings this weekend. And yet even this is a highly incomplete list.
There were seven separate shootings in Montgomery this holiday weekend. Two people have died. Seven are injured.
A few hundred miles north in Huntsville, a four-year-old boy was shot and killed on the morning of July 3.
In a Phoenix suburb, one person died and several others were injured during an altercation at their home late Sunday night.
On July 2 in Little Rock, 19-year-old Michael Wilson opened fire in a Walmart, killing 18-year-old Isaiah Hall, marking the city’s 42nd homicide this year.
A former college football star was shot to death, while four others were injured in a shooting outside a nightclub in Sacramento.
In Oakland, a man and a woman in their twenties were found fatally shot inside a home on July 4.
In Denver, three were injured and one died in a shooting on Monday night.
During a late night house party in Hartford, a shooter killed one person and injured another.
In Wilmington, two young children were shot in a drive-by shooting after a July 4 celebration.
Three people attending a Fourth of July party in Winter Haven were shot, one to death. Two teenagers were shot in a drive-by in Apopka. And someone opened fire in a restaurant in Miami’s Little Havana.
In Hinesville, a town 43 miles from Savannah, one person was critically injured after being shot in the chest on July 4.
An apparent family dispute at a home in Honolulu turned deadly when a gunshot was fired and a woman was killed.
On July 4, in Boise, 22-year-old Jacob Mosman shot a victim.
Among the dozens of people wounded by gunshot in Chicago over the holiday weekend is a 10-year-old boy who was injured in his bedroom when shots were fired outside of his home in Englewood.
Five people were shot in the Parkway Gardens neighborhood of Chicago’s South side just after midnight on July 4. Among the wounded is a 17-year-old boy.
A 90-year-old man was hospitalized in critical condition after being shot in North Lawndale.
And before I could finish this article, a 15-year-old boy was shot and killed in Warren Park.
Another mass shooting at another Fourth of July celebration. This one in Gary left three dead and seven wounded.
In Indianapolis, two kids were critically injured after a gunman opened fire at a July 4 celebration.
On Saturday in Coralville, a 3-year-old child named Damaria Sanders was shot and killed.
Two unidentified victims were shot and killed Saturday morning in Sedgwick County.
In a small town called Allen, three police officers died in a shooting as they responded to a domestic violence warrant. The sheriff there said the officers faced “pure hell.”
There were two shootings in New Orleans, leaving three people injured, including two teenagers.
In Portland, a 35-year-old man was shot on the sidewalk near a Fourth of July celebration. (The police officers who arrived on the scene to save his life had fireworks shot at them, according to the Press Herald).
There were over 10 shootings in Baltimore this weekend. So far, four have died and nine are wounded. Among the dead: A 14-year-old boy who was fatally shot in his left hip in the backyard of his home.
In Boston, 10 people were shot in seven different locations across the city the night of July 3.
A teenager was shot and killed and a man was shot and injured in Grand Rapids on July 4.
In Minneapolis, seven people were shot and hospitalized during Fourth of July celebrations at Boom Island Park.
In two separate shootings 15 minutes apart, two people were killed and four were injured in Kansas City.
On July 5, two men were shot and one was killed at a gas station in Marshall County. This is the second shooting to happen in Marshall County within the past few weeks.
In Gulfport, a 16-year-old killed 25-year-old Kerry Young in a shooting on July 3.
A shooting in Great Falls left a police officer and victim injured in an overnight shooting.
One person is dead and three more are injured in the aftermath of an overnight shooting in South Omaha that broke out on the evening of July 1.
On Monday, a Las Vegas police officer shot and killed a man armed with an edged weapon. An additional woman was also found dead at the scene.
In Concord, a shooting inside an apartment left one victim with serious injuries.
Two separate shootings left two men dead in Newark, where, last Thursday nine other people were injured in a drive-by shooting.
At a 70-person house party in southwest Albuquerque, a shooting left two female teenagers injured and one dead.
Twenty-one people were wounded and three people died in 14 shootings across New York. The victims include two men who were killed at a Brooklyn bodega, a man in a Bronx drive-by shooting, and four wounded at a holiday cookout at their home in Queens.
The state has seen three shootings since early Sunday. A drive-by shooting left six people wounded, including a 17-month-old and a 12-year-old.
In Fargo, 22-year-old homeowner Kyle Lovass called the police to tell them he had just shot someone. The 24-year-old victim is in the hospital with serious injuries.
On Saturday, a man was found shot to death outside an apartment complex in Cincinnati.
On Saturday in Oklahoma City, a woman was killed and another person was shot.
Two police officers were shot near Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia, where thousands of people attended a Fourth of July concert. One officer was shot in the head and the other was shot in his right shoulder.
In Providence, a 23-year-old man was shot early in the morning on July.
In Hartford, outside of Sioux Falls, a man robbing a store shot two customers, killing one and critically injuring the other. The suspect was later killed by police.
In Memphis, a man was shot to death in the parking lot of an apartment complex. It’s the city's 148th homicide of the year.
A shooter injured one civilian and three police officers in Haltom City before using his gun to take his own life.
In Salt Lake City, a shooter killed one man and injured another at a Utah Transit Authority train station.
Eight people were shot, one of whom was killed, at a party in Pittsylvania County.
In Washington, a homeowner reportedly shot and killed a man attempting to break into his house.
A Wisconsin shooting in a home left four people injured and one dead.
There were more than 220 Americans killed this past weekend. And today, at least, that number feels personal.
Maybe it will fade. Maybe it has faded for the people whose own hometowns once made terrible headlines. But for now, I feel alive to the sorrow and the heartache. For now, I feel rage that leaves no room for hopelessness. If there is any comfort for me, it is that.